A friend of mine has a stunning garden that she opens to the public(www.kathybrownsgarden.com). She has some beautiful winter beds and walks within the garden which have gained the attention of a famous French photographer – Cedric Pollet. Kathy was telling me about his recent visit and she sent me some photos to show me what he was particularly interested in. Wow, these trees are so aptly named, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ‘Grayswood Ghost’; they are absolutely gorgeous and very ghostly. It made me wonder about the origins of the name but my quick research into this has been inconclusive. It appears that it was grown at Grayswood Hill in Surrey. Conan Doyle and his second wife lived at nearby Windlesham but I’m not sure where the ghost link comes in.
Another favourite ghostly plant is Eryngium ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’ which is a wonderful architectural, biennial, border plant. It is a stunner with fan-like sprays of silver bristled flowerheads with spiky ruffs beneath. The name is said to derive from Miss Ellen Willmott who when visiting friends would discreetly drop the seeds of this plant in their gardens. The following year her favourite plants would miraculously be growing in the gardens of her friends.
Other ‘ghosts’ include: Erica x darleyensis ‘Ghost Hills’, Athyrium x ‘Ghost’ and Rosa ‘Silver Ghost’