Today was a special day spent with friends from the Shropshire Branch of the Hardy Plant Society, with the morning spent visiting a plantsperson’s garden and the afternoon listening to a talk with photographs of a botanist’s garden.
The garden was called Stevenshill close to Wenlock Edge venue of our recent woodland walk featured in a recent post. The owners were so full of enthusiasm and plant knowledge, and the garden full of rare and colourful delights.
It had far-reaching views of Wenlock Edge and plenty of varied, comfortable places to sit and enjoy the scents and sights of the plants.
It was one of those gardens with lots of plants to confuse and mystify even the most experienced hardy planters. Lots of head scratching about unknown and forgotten plants. Luckily the garden’s owners have put lots of labels in and have good memories for plant names. Their plant sales table held some unusual specimens and many went home in the hands of hardy planters, including ourselves. We selected a hairy leaved bergenia, Bergenia ciliata and a shrubby Teucrium, Teucrium “Paradise Delight”. Now where are we going to place those?
Throughout the garden were sumptuous Agapanthus and deeply coloured, richly scented roses often strategically placed next to enticing seating.
This yellow rose graced an arbour over a seat in the hot border. It was strongly scented. With it was planted Clematis aromatica with its tiny simple purple flowers scented with mouth-watering vanilla.
Buddleias were scattered in the borders giving height and attracting hoards of butterflies.
A selection of sculpture gave another layer of interest, from this classical figure to sinuous modern metal pieces.
But the true stars of this garden were the plants.
After a break for tea and cakes we travelled over to Bicton Village Hall where we hold our meetings, where we were looking forward to a talk entitled “A Botanist’s Garden” presented by John Grimshaw who until recently was Head Gardener at Colebourne in Gloucestershire, a garden famous for its mass displays of unusual snowdrops. In the last few weeks he has moved to Yorkshire for a new challenge, to develop the arboretum at Castle Howard. The talk was as good as we had hoped for. John illustrated his talk with a Powerpoint presentation featuring photos of the highest quality. We came away enthused and carrying another plant, Sedum telephium “Arthur Branch”.
To find out more about John and to see some of his beautiful photos visit his Garden Diary blog, www.johngrimshawsgardendiary.blogspot.com.