Well, not that far really – ‘just’ down the A5 and A14 to East Anglia where have enjoyed a few days in our campervan. Highlights of the visit were seeing those wonderfully ghostly Himalayan silver birches at Anglesey Abbey (and the embryonic planting in the adjacent new grove which will supplement and regenerate the existing area as it ages) and the most effective planting of Allium christophii amongst the meadow grass at the same place:
Not surprisingly for an English garden on a warm and sunny day in June the roses (including several of the varieties I now grow) looked and smelt divine. We had planned to look round the house too but failed to realise the house wasn’t open on Mondays – another time, perhaps when the famous snowdrops are blooming….
At Places for Plants I was intrigued by the large number of varieties of Cornus kousa around the largely wooded garden:
I couldn’t fail to be fascinated by the dry gravel beds (and the reasoning behind them) at the Beth Chatto Garden (and the ducklings):
The salvia shown below was clearly the plant of the moment at Hyde Hall and I strongly resisted the temptation to buy one, already having a collection of salvia from Hayloft that were waiting patiently at home to be planted out. Just like Anglesey Abbey, the roses in the Modern Rose Garden, Rose Rope walk and Shrub Rose border were pure aromatic lusciousness.
The real highlight of the trip and the indeed the purpose behind it, however, was meeting up with fellow bloggers Julie (Peonies & Posies) and ‘Chloris’ (The Blooming Garden) on their respective patches. It was like meeting old friends and we could easily have outstayed our welcome, chatting for hours, if time and other things had not prevented this. It is SO exciting and such a privilege to finally meet bloggers with whom one has built up a friendship over the last few years, albeit online, and to see their gardens and put those into perspective too. Thank you both for making us so welcome and to the Pianist for helping to keep us entertained (sadly not on the piano – but I am sure he would have done!). It appears we are gradually working our way around the UK so where will it be next, I wonder…?