Thanks to May's late spring rain and June's early summer heatwave, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has seen a surge in desert plants blooming across their four gardens.
Over at the RHS Garden Hyde Hall, a Dasylirion wheeleri has produced a three-metre-tall flower spike for the first time ever. The agave-like plant is a common sight in Mexico (where it is also used to make an alcoholic drink similar to tequila), but is rarely seen flowering here in the UK.
"Even though the Dry Garden is never watered and all the plants have evolved to grow in arid conditions, it still needs a top-up of rain every so often for the plants to really thrive," Robert Brett, RHS Garden Hyde Hall Curator, says. "We're thrilled by the flowering of the Dasylirion as it's not often seen in the UK, so we hope people will come and see it as an example of what it's possible to grow in some of the most extreme weather conditions we see in this country."