National Collection of Salvias
North Boarhunt, nr Fareham Tuesday 19th September
The rain threatened by the dark clouds fortunately held off for the duration of some 20 members’ visit to this private plantsman’s garden of almost an acre. It was the right time of year to see the national collection of more than 300 species salvias in flower. They are dispersed through the garden, where they vie for attention in the deep borders and beds with many other interesting and unusual plants.
At the far end of the garden the shapely borders and well tended lawns gave way to a densely planted area where it seemed that nature was taking over, until you took account of the well managed planting and cultivation of the various trees and shrubs that created that lovely naturalistic impact. Here again, there were many unusual varieties rubbing shoulders with better known trees and shrubs, although often of particularly interesting varieties. The visit ended with tea and coffee, supplemented by Lesley’s wonderful cakes.
A garden well worth visiting, not only for the salvias – a good source of ideas for one’s own garden.
West Green House garden lies in a wonderful tranquil setting. A notable feature of the garden is the large lake on which there is a small island with a pavilion. The walled garden is stocked with numerous Apple trees, some pruned to form an archway, others as ‘stepover’ plants. The juxtaposition of vegetables, fruit trees and herbaceous plants was most interesting. Incredibly, the long stretches of Box hedging have so far remained unaffected by box blight and infestations of moths. The large greenhouse at the entrance to the garden was stocked with an impressive range of Geraniums and a beautiful pink Hydrangea in flower. The café seating area was a delightful place to enjoy a quiet lunch, before we moved on to Bramdean House.
Here we were treated to an introduction from the Head Gardener. She gave us a brief history explaining how the garden has developed over time. She also explained the challenges of maintaining the garden with its labour intensive plants and the issues arising from drought conditions. The garden is noted for its exceptional herbaceous borders. In particular two facing borders which stretch up the slope from the house, which are symmetrically arranged by colour and beautifully presented using a variety of invisible staking techniques. As one progresses up the slope, the walled gardens become less formal, culminating with an orchard growing in a wildflower setting. The garden hosts a wonderful variety of trees and at the time of our visit the Cornus kousa trees were looking at their best with their colourful bracts. Our group came away with many ideas on how they might improve their own herbaceous borders: a wonderful day was had by all!
Visit to APULDRAM ROSES
Thursday 8th June
Twenty-one of us visited Apuldram Roses and it was an excellent afternoon – informative, interesting and the perfect time of year to visit a nursery specialising in roses. Liz Sawday talked to us about growing roses and looking after them, especially at the moment. Lots of watering needed – at least twice a week! She reminded us that it’s very important to feed our roses too – but not to overfeed them. The instructions must be followed!
When deadheading, we should cut down to the first set of 5 leaves (or lower if necessary to rebalance) and the plant should re-flower earlier than if just the dead head is removed.
Liz passed round 3 cuttings and we had to vote for which one we thought was the sucker. Interestingly we were about evenly split between the 3 but of course only one was actually a sucker. They are always matt and acid green in colour; a stalk with 7 leaves is not necessarily a sucker.
She also showed us how they propagate new plants, inserting a bud into the stem of a short cutting – the sample was passed round. All very technical and a need to be very accurate.
After the talk we wandered around their beautiful gardens and the area where the rose plants were available to buy, before enjoying tea and cake.
The Bishop’s Palace Gardens, Chichester
Monday 22nd & Wednesday 24th May
Following his talk at our January meeting, Brian Hopkins gave a guided tour of the gardens to two groups of a dozen members.
Brian has been involved with the gardens for may years and has built up a wealth of knowledge, particularly concerning the trees, so he was the perfect guide. Our visits were just at the right time to see some of the flowering trees in full bloom. Of particular note was a superb foxglove tree Paulownia tomentosa, tulip tree Liriodrendron tulipifera, handkerchief tree Davidia involucrata and yellow buckeye Aesculus flava, a horse chestnut native to America.
As well as the magnificent trees, the gardens have many borders and beds, well planted with shrubs and herbaceous perennials, being tended by volunteers.
On a glorious early summer’s day it was good to see people of all ages using this green haven so close to the city centre, although their presence did not distract from its tranquillity.
It certainly invites repeated visits, which will be more interesting with what we learned from Brian.
Last Year's Garden Visits
Garden Visit – WHITEHANGER
Thursday 7th July 2022
A beautiful afternoon’s visit to this superb garden in a hilltop setting south of Haslemere, surrounded by NT woodland and centred on an intriguing Huf Haus.
Well designed beds and borders with herbaceous perennials, shrubs and trees in excellent condition, supplemented by a tranquillity pool, rockery, gabbion-walled exotic garden and a woodland walk. All of this developed from what was a derelict site 11 years ago.
The visit was rounded off relaxing by the pool, enjoying some very tasty home-made cake.
MEMBERS’ GARDEN VISIT
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Some 30 members spent an enjoyable evening visiting the Jill and Jon’s large garden, just across Sheepwash Lane from the Village Green.
A beautiful garden, its relaxed informality the result of an expertly thought out design. Borders and beds were packed with a cornucopia of plants, all looking as if they had naturally found their right position and maintained in excellent condition. The wide range of repeat-flowering roses in full bloom were outstanding.
Many thanks to Jill and Jon for their hospitality in sharing their lovely garden.
Proceeds from the evening were donated to the charity Perennial.
Garden Visit to Sedgwick Park
Thursday 28th April 2022
The short notice meant that only a few were able to visit this property dating from the 18th C, set in grounds of some 80 acres: parkland, meadows, woodland and formal 19th C gardens designed by Harld Peto. (Click title above for NGS page).
The view of the ship-themed water garden, the White Sea, is taken from the bridge, planted with trailing rosemary, with the idea that when in flower it will look like a waterfall from below.
The trunk of a tree that had to be cut down was sculpted on the theme of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (with Alice reading and the White Rabbit consulting his watch), as the girl who inspired Lewis Carrol, Alice Liddel, spent her honeymoon at Sedgwick Park.
Members’ visit to MitchmereiFarm
11th February 2022
The 20 places available were quickly taken up on a first come basis. We were lucky to have nice weather, with a hint of sunshine.
This large garden, nestling in the Downs near Stoughton, was resplendent with drifts of early spring bulbs flowering in naturalistic settings: many varieties of snowdrops, winter aconites and crocus.
There was also the heady fragrance of daphne ‘Jacqueline Postill’ and mahonia and the large pond reflecting the vibrant coloured stems of the pollarded willows.
An excellent afternoon’s visit.