Categories
autumn autumn colours Cheshire garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public ornamental trees and shrubs trees

Sorbus at Ness Botanic Gardens

As mentioned in my post about Ness Botanic Gardens themselves we were using the visit to study their many different Sorbus trees, to help us choose one for our garden. Here is a selection of those we found and liked. At the end of the post we shall share with you our shortlist drawn up during our visit.

The first cultivar which featured strongly in the carpark planting and around the garden was unusurpisingly Sorbus “Ness Pink”, a beautiful fastigiate structured tree with blue foliage and pale pink flowers. A stunning selection which immediately went onto our short list.

Next up was another neat tree with finely cut foliage and crisp yellow-orange berries, which was not labelled but later we found another that we thought was the same – Sorbus “Wisley Gold”. Another for the list!

Next ones we found in the pinetum were these deep pinkish berried trees, the one on the left is S. “Leonard Messell” and the other S.”Eastern Promise”.

We carried on in the woodland alongside the pinetum to find S. “Jospeph Rock” and S. coxii. We already have Joseph Rock growing at home and is a real favourite but we were not aware of coxii. It had the most beautiful glaucous foliage, but researching it is hard work as no-one seems to know much about it.

The pair that I photographed next were on the left S. discolor and on the right S. “Autumn Spire” which we already grow in our Avocet patch. Is a narrow upright tree with bright orang fruit looking fiery with red autumn colour.

Below are the next two Sorbus we came across and liked enough to photograph were sadly unlabelled. No help to us in seeking a selection for our garden. Good looking trees too!

We then were disappointed to find this pale yellow almost lemon berried tree had no label either. The one on the right is S. “Carmesina” a deep pink fruiting tree with pale glaucous foliage.

 

Two pink berried cultivars are featured next, the first with the palest pink possible, S.bulleyana, the second S. discolores with a deep blush to their pale pink.

 

At the end of the pinetum we came across a perfectly shaped rowan dripping with orange-yellow berries, Sorbus aucuparia “Dickeana”, a special specimen indeed.

We were delighted to discover on a grassed area on our return route to the centre among Betulas, a few more beautiful Sorbus, the red-leaved S. “Dodong Olympic Flame” and the more gentle S. Chinese Lace.

And to finish off a return to the magnificent Sorbus “Pink Ness”.

So what were the varieties that made it onto our short list? Here as promised is our selection from which we must seek out and purchase just one.

You may have guessed that Pink Ness is there, plus Chinese Lace,  Dodong Olympic Flame and Wisley Gold. Great selection – hope you agree.

 

Categories
autumn autumn colours Cheshire garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs

Ness Botanic Gardens

We meet regularly with a group we went to teacher training college with back in 1969 to 1972, for a get together. We often meet up at a garden for morning coffee and lunch, with time to explore in between.

In early October we met up at Ness Botanic Gardens run by Liverpool University. Jude and I had visited several times over the years, so looked forward to reaquainting ourselves with this wonderful garden.

We hoped to get a good show of bark, foliage and berries from their many Acers, Betulas and Sorbus. We were particularly keen on looking at the Sorbus as we are currently seleceting a new one for our Avocet garden. We love so many and hoped this visit would help us choose.

Leaving the visitors centre we could see the strong sharp shadows emanating from trees and lying across the grass. Through these trees we were afforded long views across the lower gardens.

  

Beds to show the main plant families were cut into the grass and we enjoyed these before following a gravel path down the slope that took us to the wonderfully colourful late perennial borders.

 

The herbaceous perennial borders shone with grasses and Asters, growing below shrubs and trees displaying signs of autumn, coloured foliage, fruit and berries.

 

 

After enjoying these mixed borders we returned to the far side of the garden to explore.

We made our way back to the centre for lunch and then Jude and I carried on touring the garden in search of Sorbus varieties, while the rest of the group made their ways home.

In my next post I shall share the Sorbus discoveries with you.

 

 

Categories
architecture Cheshire garden design garden paths garden photography garden ponds garden pools garden seat garden seating gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials ornamental trees and shrubs trees

The Most Romantic Garden in England – Cholmondeley Castle

Many visitors believe that the gardens at Cholmondeley Castle are the most romantic in England, and after each visit we have made it is hard to disagree. Jude, the Undergardener and I visited in mid-September with a group of college friends, every one of whom loved it for its atmosphere. The “Cheshire’s Gardens 2017″ leaflet describe the gardens as “Romantic, beautiful and wild”.

The Cholmondeley family have lived on the site since 1200 but the castle we saw was built in the early 19th Century. Today the gardens feature the Folly Garden, a Lily Pond, a woodland area, as well as smaller borders such as the grass borders. The wide sweeping lawns encourage visitors to wander freely between the borders and enjoy long views.

As we walked these inviting paths, enjoying wide vistas and clumps of mature trees we stopped frequently when our eyes rested upon some fine planting, beautiful individual plants and imaginative groupings.

   

We had a great day at Cholmondeley Castle discovering what the romantic garden had to offer. It certainly did have a romantic atmosphere!

 

 

Categories
Cheshire

Nostalgia Week – Oulton Park Gold Cup

January is a month for looking backwards and forwards, being named after the two-faced god Janus. The three posts published so far in January 2017 have been about looking forward by sharing the elements of Attingham Park which will be the subject of my monthly posts this year. The next group of posts will be about looking back and will be all about nostalgia.

I thought I would bring together some events we have attended and adventures we have had during 2016 which all circled around the idea of nostalgia. They involved vintage teas, old cars, old trains and other such memory-jogging items.

Oulton Park’s Gold Cup is a motor racing event that we have been attending on occasion for decades. We used to travel the one hour or so north from Plealey regularly when our children were little as they soon adopted my love of motor racing and going to see live races at the circuits local to us. We are so lucky as we have 3 circuits within an hour and a half or so travel time from home. We have never stopped attending meetings and now both our children and their spouses go too. A few times a year some of the family try to get together for a motor racing family outing, and the one event that we try never to miss is the Gold Cup at Oulton Park in neighbouring Cheshire.

n1-19

I used to watch the Gold Cup meeting on TV in the good old days of tiny screens and black and white pictures. I always find it odd watching historic races when I see these beautiful old girls in colour. At that time the meeting was part of the Formula One calendar and I watched my heroes, Stirling Moss, Jacqui Stewart and Graham Hill in their F1 cars.

n1-26

In 2016 Jude and I with daughter and son-in-law, Jo and Rob went off for the annual pilgrimage to the meeting in July and enjoyed a day of warm bright weather. The racing was equally bright too and the collections of vintage and veteran cars in the infield was so impressive and brought back so many memories. In the last two years our annual visit has added poignancy and deeper meaning as we attend partly to help remember one of our best friends, Tony who sadly died in August 2015. As well as a close friend he was also our daughter, Jo’s father-in-law and he was a great lover of all things to do with historic racing cars especially those with a great British heritage like Jaguar and Morgan. We have enjoyed the Gold Cup with Tony and his wife, Jean along with Jo and Rob prior to August 2015 so we now treat our day out to the event as a special tribute and memorial to him. It is a way of remembering Tony and the great times we had together.

n1-20

We spent a lot of time calling out extremely excitedly, “We used to have a car like that!!!!” Since we got our first car back in the early 1970’s, we have had many sporty cars especially those classified as “hot hatches” which were basically small road cars made to look like race cars and engines hotted up to increase their performance. We were little racers! Here are a few of the cars we spotted at Oulton Park which we had also owned and driven.

n1-25 n1-21n1-22 n1-24n1-23

The paddock is open to everyone throughout the Gold Cup weekend celebrations and everyone can get up close and personal with the cars, mechanics and drivers. Everyone is so friendly and enjoy the public looking at their pride and joys. There are some extremely brightly coloured vehicles there which makes for a very colourful paddock.

n1-01 n1-02n1-03 n1-18n1-09 n1-11n1-04 n1-10n1-12

Some of these old cars are beautiful in their line, and the shape of their bodywork rather than their colour-shape combination. This first car has a totally silvery, polished metalwork body which reflected the world all around it, the movement and colours of other cars and spectators. It had amazing lines within its design.

n1-15 n1-13n1-14 n1-16n1-17

This little white race car appeared out of its transporter like a space ship emerging from the mother ship.

n1-06 n1-05n1-08 n1-07

So, a great time was had by all and we are already looking forward excitedly to the 2017 Gold Cup at Oulton Park, but we had another day of old racing cars planned for the early autumn, the unbelievable festival of speedy cars and motorbikes, “The Goodwood Revival”.

Jude enjoys our race days as much as the rest of us but if the sun comes out she likes a little snooze too! Taking her photo when she is asleep isn’t always a good move!! But I am always forgiven with a smile!

n1-29 n1-32n1-31

 

Categories
Cheshire colours flowering bulbs garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public light light quality National Trust ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs spring bulbs The National Trust trees Winter Gardening winter gardens

Winter Wonderland at Dunham Massey – part two

2015 02 27_9737_edited-1

Welcome back to the National Trust property Dunham Massey in Cheshire where earlier this year we enjoyed our annual exploration of their wonderful Winter Gardens. No winter flowering plant can have more presence than Cornus mas, the Cornellian Cherry.

2015 02 27_9725_edited-1

Better known perhaps are the Witch Hazels with their flowers of yellow, orange and red which glow like fire in the slightest brightness of the winter sun.

2015 02 27_9774 2015 02 27_9727_edited-1

Deep inside their brightest of ribbons of petals deep secrets hide, revealed only when the petals fall.

2015 02 27_9775 2015 02 27_97762015 02 27_9777_edited-1

In part one of this two part visit to Dunham Massey I shared with you my love of the biscuits and browns, the last of life from the previous seasons. Now I will share some more beautiful details in close up, using a close-up attachment on my Nikon. It really brings out the importance of structure and the richness hidden in these modest colours.

2015 02 27_9771 2015 02 27_97722015 02 27_9729_edited-1

Amazingly exactly the same colours are there to be found in the bark of a winter garden’s trees.

2015 02 27_9773 2015 02 27_9722_edited-1 2015 02 27_9750_edited-12015 02 27_9723_edited-1

On some old flowerheads from last year, especially the Hydrangeas, the dominant colour is bone white which does look good too!

2015 02 27_9744_edited-12015 02 27_9746_edited-12015 02 27_9745_edited-1 2015 02 27_9747_edited-1

As we wandered around the Winter Garden paths which meander among the borders we kept getting glimpses of a shrub which looked to be still in its Autumn coat. We couldn’t get close enough to see what it was so before leaving we sought it out and discovered it to be a Mahonia of the japonica/bealii type but we were not sure which one and it wasn’t labeled. Below is the photo I took to show its bright “autumn” colours against the intense dark greens of surrounding evergreens.

2015 02 27_9785

Naturally I must finish off this double dose of winter beauty where I began, singing the praises of white barked birches! Singing their praises through the lens of my camera!

2015 02 27_97832015 02 27_9718_edited-1 2015 02 27_97882015 02 27_9780 2015 02 27_97862015 02 27_9715_edited-1

 

Categories
Cheshire colours flowering bulbs garden design garden photography gardens gardens open to the public irises light light quality National Trust ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs spring bulbs The National Trust trees Winter Gardening winter gardens

Winter Wonderland at Dunham Massey – part one

We are in the habit of visiting the gardens of the National Trust property, Dunham Massey, especially since their Winter Garden has matured. We tend to visit in February. This year we made our annual pilgrimage on a sunny, mild day right at the end of the month.

The new visitors centre of glass and wood gives a fresh new welcome and these beautiful etchings in the glass feature throughout. They set the atmosphere to prepare you for the wonderful winter garden.

2015 02 27_9709

On the walk to the garden we passed this dead tree now cut down and the wood used to create a wildlife habitat. Brilliant idea!

2015 02 27_9710

As soon as we had taken our first steps in the garden we could see what we could expect, with this border of coloured stemmed shrubs, Cornus “Midwinter fire” and Rubus thibeticanus against a background of ilex crenata and a mixture of conifers.

2015 02 27_9711

A few paces further on and the large numbers of white stemmed birches, Betula utilis “Dorenbos” appeared like a ghostly forest, with a carpet of Snowdrops adding to the atmosphere. You must know by now how much I love Betulas so you can imagine how planting them on this scale impresses me deeply. They enticed me to try out my new wide angle attachment on the Nikon. Not too sure about the vignetting on this one though!

2015 02 27_97142015 02 27_9713 2015 02 27_9717

There was much more than white coloured plants to look at! And some lovingly selected plant partners.

2015 02 27_9719 2015 02 27_97202015 02 27_9769

Not all the trees here in the winter garden were Birch either, there was plenty of room for others like this Prunus serrula and Acer griseum.

2015 02 27_9751 2015 02 27_9721 2015 02 27_9728

As in any well-designed winter planting coloured stems are very potent, especially Cornus and Salix.

2015 02 27_9734 2015 02 27_9733

But of course there were plenty of flowering plants to give us colour in the gloomiest of months, flowering bulbs, shrubs and even a few perennials.

2015 02 27_9730 2015 02 27_97312015 02 27_9732 2015 02 27_9736

In some areas we  stopped to appreciate the beauty of an individual plant or even a single bloom but in others it was the sheer mass of planting that impressed.

2015 02 27_9740 2015 02 27_9741 2015 02 27_9762 2015 02 27_9770

Other fresh growth provided interest without any colour other than browns and biscuits.

2015 02 27_97382015 02 27_9739 2015 02 27_97482015 02 27_9757

Of course it is more natural to think of these lovely warm biscuits and browns when we consider the growth that was green or brightly coloured last year. And I love these colours when they are a result of decay and age as much as any other colour in the garden. Enjoy this little collage of brown and biscuit!

2015 02 27_97422015 02 27_97492015 02 27_97522015 02 27_97532015 02 27_97542015 02 27_9758

 

Thinking about winter of course we mustn’t let the berries in their gaudy reds and oranges get missed out.

2015 02 27_9759 2015 02 27_97602015 02 27_9764

Sometimes the beauty was hidden behind a haze. In the pictures below you need to look through the thin mist and the reflective surface of water.

 

2015 02 27_9761  2015 02 27_9763

 

Categories
Cheshire colours flower show garden design garden wildlife gardening gardens hardy perennials light light quality RHS RHS shows

The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – Part 3 – the bigger picture

So far we have looked at the main show gardens and the work of young designers and school children but in this post I just want to share a miscellany of photos of the things that caught my eye at this year’s show. The RHS had chosen “Carnival” as the theme for this years’s show so bright colours shone everywhere. Even the sky was the brightest blue possible which after getting caught in thunder storms every other time we have visited the show was a real surprise. The colours were crisp and the shadows sharp.

2014 07 27_1973 2014 07 27_1991

2014 07 27_1992 2014 07 27_2011

The sky was blue and the sun was bright and hot so we donned our sun hats, which co-ordinated well with our coffee cups.

2014 07 27_1974 2014 07 27_1975 2014 07 27_1976 2014 07 27_1977

The show was full of colourful characters some real some some imaginary.

2014 07 27_1969 2014 07 27_1970

This was probably the most colourful show garden of all designed by Janet Leigh for a school with children with specific needs. When it is rebuilt in the school it will be inviting to the children and so stimulating to all their senses. Even the pathways which looked like coloured tarmac was of a special “bounce back safety surface”. The way Janet had used coloured plastic sheet to cast moving coloured “reflections” on every surface was amazing.

2014 07 27_2026 2014 07 27_2024 2014 07 27_2025 2014 07 27_2023 2014 07 27_2022 2014 07 27_2021

As a total contrast but also full of colour was the little garden created by members of the Cottage Garden Society for their promotional display.

2014 07 27_2015 2014 07 27_2012

There was colour in the sales areas too, the flowers in pots for sale and these crazy garden slipper clogs – I just had to have pair so bought myself  some covered in red peppers just like those on the far right of the top row.

2014 07 27_2008 2014 07 27_2007

Show gardens themselves and the nursery trade stands in the Floral Marquee had bright splashes of colour to catch the eye and the camera lens.

2014 07 27_1935 2014 07 27_2016

2014 07 27_2017 2014 07 27_1999

 

2014 07 27_2019 2014 07 27_2018

 

This must be one of the strangest and most colourful things we have ever come across at an RHS show, a ferris wheel where every other seat was occupied by a giant excessively brightly coloured flower arrangement. Probably not the best fairground ride for those with hay fever!

2014 07 27_1968 2014 07 27_1967 2014 07 27_1958 2014 07 27_1957

So that is the end of my three posts about the RHS Flower show at Tatton Park, but I thought I would finish with one final photo of a wonderful insect hotel. Being keen wildlife gardeners Jude and I always look out for interesting ideas. This one was a true beauty.

 

2014 07 27_2005

 

Categories
Cheshire colours flower show garden design garden designers garden furniture garden photography garden seating gardening gardens grasses hardy perennials light meadows ornamental grasses

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – Part 2 – children as gardeners

One of the most enjoyable features of Tatton and perhaps also one of its most important elements is the encouragement of young talent be it young garden designers creating their first RHS show gardens or local schools trying their hand out at making gardens.

We always enjoy the work of the young designers at Tatton Flower Show and it is here that the RHS deliberately showcase young designers’ talent but sadly there seem so few. This year there were three young designers who had been given the opportunity to create their first RHS show gardens. I wish this chance was given to more! The standard of the work of these three though was astounding with a freshness in their planting and originality in the way they considered their brief. The first two shots are of the garden designed by the winner of the title “Young Garden Designer of the Year” and show his use of soft planting schemes of perennials scattered among grasses. This was a beautiful atmospheric garden which made us imagine what it would be like to lounge on that seat listening to the insect life busy in the grasses all around. It would be like lying in an old fashioned wildflower meadow.

The third shot shows another young designer’s garden which was in fact an outdoor gym. The idea was a good one but to me it was too much of a gym and too little garden.

The last three photos are of the third young designer’s garden which again has gentle planting featuring many grasses but it has the added interest of coloured glass screens which created interesting colour casts when the sun got to work. We enjoyed this garden too and could see a great future for the designer.

2014 07 27_1941 2014 07 27_1940

 

2014 07 27_1939 2014 07 27_1938 2014 07 27_1937 2014 07 27_1936

The local schools always put on a show with the Wow factor. This year they were challenged to create gardens based on book characters and others took the chance of planting up recycled items. One thing that shows through is the young minds’ use of colour.

Share my pictures and revel in the ideas and the colours. Try to work out the stimulus for the gardens too.

2014 07 27_1859 2014 07 27_1860 2014 07 27_1861 2014 07 27_1862

2014 07 27_1865 2014 07 27_1864 2014 07 27_1866 2014 07 27_1867 2014 07 27_1868 2014 07 27_1869 2014 07 27_1870 2014 07 27_1871 2014 07 27_1872 2014 07 27_1873

2014 07 27_1878 2014 07 27_18832014 07 27_1882 2014 07 27_1881 2014 07 27_1876 2014 07 27_1877 2014 07 27_1884 2014 07 27_1885 2014 07 27_1893 2014 07 27_1892

 

As you can imagine we came away feeling happier about the future of gardening and garden designers. Surely a few of the school children who exhibit at Tatton each year will go on to choose gardening in one form or another as a career. Let us hope so!

Categories
Cheshire flower show garden design garden designers gardening gardens RHS

The RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park – Part 1 – The Best of the RHS Shows?

Okay so Chelsea gets all the publicity, all the air time on the BBC and is the place to be seen if you class yourself a “celebrity”. Some even see it as another “Ascot”, a chance to be seen and to wear a designer outfit and a big hat! Hampton Court Show gets plenty of coverage too in the press and on TV but is not seen as “the place to be seen”.

I have been to Chelsea and won’t go again. There are simply too many people there who are not interested in plants or gardens and let’s be honest the show gardens are just “not real” are the? Sorry, but it is about time budgets for show gardens were controlled and designers were brought back down to earth and restricted to designing with plants in season.

However go to the RHS Tatton Show and you are in for a treat. It is a garden show for real gardeners and the show gardens are full of realistic ideas to stimulate the thinking gardener. However the BBC just give it two half-hour slots. Not enough celebrities in attendance and no visit by the Queen I suppose! Just look at the look of sheer delight on the faces of Monty Don and Carol Klein when they broadcast from Tatton and listen to their obvious and genuine enjoyment in their voices. This year the theme of the show was carnival time and it was promoted as “The Great Garden Carnival” with the elements of “inspire, escape, grow and feast”.

Just like the BBC coverage we shall start with the show gardens. These show gardens are far more realistic with most designers using plants flowering and performing that are in season.

2014 07 27_1835 2014 07 27_1838

2014 07 27_1837 2014 07 27_1853

This means that gardeners can take away ideas to try in their own patches especially plant partnerships. Just look at the photo of the Echinacea and Achillea together, a combination we have used before but not in that colour combination, which looks so fresh and lively. And alongside that photo another showing the same Achillea with Helenium. This pale lemon Achillea appeared on many of the show gardens and looks a very worthwhile plant.

2014 07 27_1836 2014 07 27_1841

We were pleased to see grasses being used in fresh ways too especially smaller ones with gentle whispy flowers which showed off  one of their attributes, moving in the wind, so well. They were used with Chocolate Cosmos on one garden and with Veronicas on another, both equally effective.

2014 07 27_1839 2014 07 27_1840 2014 07 27_1842 2014 07 27_1843

Our favourite garden was this one by a young designer, his first ever RHS garden and he received a Gold. He was a very happy designer! We spoke to him for a long while and he explained his ideas and choice of plants to us. It was a fresh lively garden and as he pointed out to us not expensive to build. The strength of the design was in the use of triangles, which in itself is unusual.

2014 07 27_1844 2014 07 27_1845

This garden illustrated how corton steel can be used really well as long as the planting co-ordinates with it too. The pics show how well the steel and the plants worked together.

2014 07 27_1912 2014 07 27_1918

2014 07 27_1915 2014 07 27_1913

2014 07 27_1914 2014 07 27_1920

2014 07 27_1922 2014 07 27_1920

2014 07 27_1919 2014 07 27_1921

“Grow Your Own” was a feature in several gardens and appeared throughout all aspects of the show. Look at these smart raised beds and great ways to support climbing beans.

2014 07 27_1847 2014 07 27_1848

2014 07 27_1850 2014 07 27_1849 2014 07 27_1851

And of course no show based on creativity is complete without a little quirkiness! How about purple and lime green cauliflowers or a water feature based on recycled exhaust pipes, multicoloured birdboxes and even a rainbow of ribbons.

2014 07 27_1852 2014 07 27_1854 2014 07 27_1856 2014 07 27_1857

And of course there are always a few plants in the Floral Marquee or in the show gardens large and small that catch our eyes.

2014 07 27_1909 2014 07 27_1910 2014 07 27_1911 2014 07 27_1903

After that little diversion we can return to the show gardens which appealed to us.

2014 07 27_1923 2014 07 27_1924 2014 07 27_1925 2014 07 27_1926 2014 07 27_1927 2014 07 27_1928

I shall follow this post about the RHS Tatton Park Show with two more, one celebrating the gardeners of the future and one the colours that made the show so vibrant.

 

Categories
Cheshire climbing plants garden design gardening gardens hardy perennials Hardy Plant Society ornamental trees and shrubs The National Gardening Scheme" trees village gardens Yellow Book Gardens

Two Cheshire Gardens in one day

Jude and I arranged a coach trip to visit some Cheshire gardens for the Shropshire Group of the Hardy Plant Society as part of our programme secretaries role. The main garden was Arley Hall but we added on two smaller gardens as a contrast, which I am going to concentrate in this blog ,The East Garden within the Arley Hall Gardens and Grafton Lodge near Malpas.

We were given the privilege of being given a tour of the East Garden inside the main garden at Arley Hall. The East Garden is owned and tended by the same person who runs the nursery there which specialises in unusual quality perennials so we were in for a treat. We were even given a short talk about how the garden was created before we looked around. It was an intimate garden with strong structure created by paths and trimmed hedges all softened by mixed borders of perennials and shrubs. It was raining all the time we were exploring but the colours glowed through especially the yellows. I shall leave you to enjoy the photos I took.

2014 07 20_1568 2014 07 20_1569 2014 07 20_1570 2014 07 20_1571 2014 07 20_1572 2014 07 20_1573 2014 07 20_1574 2014 07 20_1575 2014 07 20_1576 2014 07 20_15772014 07 20_1578

We ended our day by visiting a 2 acre garden in a tiny Cheshire village half way home, where we enjoyed a wander and a break for tea and cakes. The garden is owned by Simon Carter and Derren Gilhooley, who also designed, created and now maintain it. It is a garden full of surprises, original touches and lots of enticing paths and junctions. We were enthralled by the unusual collection of small trees and herbaceous plants.

2014 07 20_1603 2014 07 20_1604

Our members were soon milling around keen to take a look around what looked to be an interesting garden. They were right!

2014 07 20_1609

 

 

2014 07 20_1605 2014 07 20_1606 2014 07 20_1607 2014 07 20_1608 2014 07 20_1610 2014 07 20_1611

 

Many members were surprised to see this little specimen of Catalpa bignoides, the Indian Bean Tree in flower. Being a small tree it meant that we could get a close up look at the flowers that were reminiscent of foxgloves or Horse Chestnut.

 

2014 07 20_1615 2014 07 20_1616

This is a garden that as you wander around you are stopped in your tracks by original ideas that make you wonder “Why didn’t I think of that?” In the first shot below we see a plant pairing that works so well but both plants ,the Birch and the Lysimachia, are such ordinary plants. Together they look great. The second shot shows a low growing hedge that made all of us take a second look as we had never seen this plant, a shrubby Potentilla, used as a hedge before.

 

2014 07 20_1618 2014 07 20_1614

 

This plant combination similarly impressed, once again a Birch but here partnered by an Acanthus.

2014 07 20_1612 2014 07 20_1613

 

As we left after a great day out we were waved off by Simon and Derren who had been wonderful hosts and by this friendly garden glove.

2014 07 20_1617