World Cup National Flower Thoughts...


It’s impossible not to get a little bit caught up in World Cup fever even if, like me, you can’t tell one end of a football pitch from the other.

Being a garden designer I find my mind wanders away from the ball and the penalties and over to the flora native to the favourite countries.


So, if you are considering dedicating some planting to this year’s matches, here’s my starter selection. Focussing on France and Spain since they are now through!

Abbaye de Senanque Gordes Vaucluse vue du Nord

France, actually their national flower is the Iris, but in my parallel life I’m French, and I cultivate lavender commercially for local market bath oil and soaps etc.

This dream stems from holidaying near the Provencal town of Gordes, cycling in the valley of the Abbey de Notre-Dame de Senanque. Here, in August, they harvest the lavender crop and the entire valley is bathed in the scent brought out in the hot afternoon sun.

In our UK planting schemes, we regularly use a variety called ‘Grosso’ which has mid purple flowers and remains tidy into winter.

 IMG 7742

Spain is all about passion or “duende!” and the national flower of Spain, the red carnation, is synonymous with passion. Picture the magnificent flamenco dancer with a single red carnation  tucked in her hair and one needs say no more! 

Receiving a bunch of red carnations apparently means, “My heart aches for you.”While a bunch of white carnations means, “I am still available.”

In our UK planting schemes, we regularly use Dianthus cruentus which is loved by bees and butterflies and whose flower head bob effortlessly mid-air on thin stems. We also use the eye scorching and long flowering Dianthus carthusianorum, or the alpine Carthusian pink when we’re feeling brave!