It is always special to visit a friend’s garden for the first time. Today with fellow Shropshire Hardy Plant Society members we visited the garden of our group chairman, Anne. She lives just over the Welsh border so we had but a forty minute journey.
The pathway to the front door set the scene with plants jostling for position to make sure they were seen. I always believe this sort of way into a garden heightens the anticipation. You just know you are going to enjoy the garden and discover some real gems. This was just what happened.
Anne greeted us at her door and from then on we had a very enjoyable afternoon exploring her little garden, drinking tea and relishing cakes. The garden had pathways wriggling beneath trees and shrubs giving the atmosphere of a small copse.
Anne’s garden illustrated the importance of growing trees in small gardens. So many small gardens are full of small plants which just makes you look down. Anne’s patch had your eyes rushing around, upwards, downwards and seeking out the next corner to peer around.
In the front garden Cercis “Forest Pansy”, Pyrus salifolius pendula and a splendid specimen of Cornus “Midwinter Fire” held the garden together.
The weeping pear’s leaves were fully out and its pure white blossom showed off its black stamens. The Forest Pansy was way behind ,its bare black stems just starting to show bursting purple buds.
I enjoyed the way so many different leaf shapes, colours and textures juxtaposed so happily.
Being mid-April spring flowering bulbs added cheer to combat the grey skies of the day.
Whenever I visit a garden I spot one of my favourite families of plants, the euphorbias. Anne had some fine euphorbias including E. mellifera a variety that we grow but have to take in during the winter as it just couldn’t survive our winter weather. Anne’s happily lived outside all year.
Acers feature here too and mid-April is a good time to enjoy their fresh subtly coloured new foliage bursting from their buds.
We have been looking for small Hostas recently to plant around a water feature situated close to a corner where two path meet. We were really taken with those we found growing in pots in a little shaded courtyard. Luckily they had labels on giving us ideas for our own planting.
Anne’s garden is small in size but it has a mighty big heart! As the last set of photographs below show it is a garden full of interesting individual plants, original plant combinations and many appealing features. We had a great afternoon – thanks Anne.