Not strictly true, as when I met up with my sisters there in June I avoided going into the plant centre, so didn’t actually buy anything. Today’s visit, however, was on the basis that I could get in free as an RHS member whilst the Golfer could go off to different golf courses in Rutland and add to his collection. whilst I in turn added to my collection of hemerocallis. Barnsdale hold one of the national collections of hemerocallis and after my relative success with them this year I wanted to add some pinks to the existing hot colours I own.
It was intriguing to see the gardens again only a couple of months after the last visit as they were so very different, but all the more so because they were virtually empty with no more than half a dozen visitors at the most, the others kept away by the forecast of persistent rain all day. Indeed, we had over half an inch of rain this morning, but it had stopped by the time we got to Barnsdale about 1½ hours drive from home so it was lovely to walk round in what felt like a private visit, smelling the dampness, hearing the birdsong and generally pottering at my leisure.
The picture above shows the arch with 30 (I think) different apples and pears, just finishing flowering in June but smothered in ripening fruit today. Elsewhere the late summer flowering perennials held sway, so lots of yellows, and the hostas were big and blousey and just getting ready to flop. Being on my own helped me appreciate the design of separate ‘gardens’ even more, and I wasn’t distracted by aquilegias today! The difference in flowering times was a surprise, with Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’ at its flowering peak whereas mine was over weeks ago, and there was an archway with an enviable smothering of Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ (right), mine not only being over but a mere shadow of this.
The fruit and veg plots were all in full production, whether it was apples and pears, squash and courgette, artichoke or beans, so plenty to admire, and there was various artwork distributed throughout the garden, some more abstract than others. I am including just a selection of the pictures I took, as there were many, – and did I buy anything? Of course – three hemerocallis, Coreopsis ‘Limerick Passion’, Helenium ‘Ruby Tuesday’ and Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’.