Six on Saturday: Here and There

We have been out and about in the last week or two, starting with a visit to RHS Harlow Carr where last week’s Six on Saturday’s sculptures were. The above view shows the part of the iconic streamside garden which looks as if it is currently being replanted.

Following this, a few days were spent in the Isle of Wight, with garden visiting a priority (for me, that is). First up was the former royal residence beloved of Queen Victoria, Osborne House, where the parterres on the terrace have been restored to their original appearance. A great variety of bedding plants were used in Victoria’s time and this year the beds were bright with bidens, verbena, canna and what I thought was a dark coleus but which a helpful sign identified (for puzzled visitors) as ‘Perilla nankinensis lacinata’. Through Google I find that perilla is used in Japan and Korea as a herb, has a strong aroma and flavour and is popular for flavouring raw fish, tempura and pickles. It certainly also made an attractive bushy foliage plant.

I have been to the model village at Godshill before and it was a must-see on this visit too. Not in the least bit ‘twee’, the village is a masterpiece of model building and landscaping.

Not only do 1/10th scale models faithfully reproduce the cottages, shops, pubs, churches  and railway of Shanklin and Godshill villages and their environs as they were in the 1920s, but it is also an unexpected place to find a huge collection of niwaki and cloud pruned conifers and trees. Over 3,000 trees and shrubs are used in the display, sculpted individually for maximum effect to create the right atmosphere to offset the models. Some of the trees are over 40 years old and have been shaped to retain their scale to the model houses; I found the attention to detail riveting.

The UK’s ‘hottest’ garden, the Ventnor Botanic Garden, has an unrivalled subtropical and exotic plant collection, with plants normally found in protective glasshouses thriving and naturalising  out of doors thanks to the mild climate and sheltered setting. The garden is a proponent of ‘landscape immersion’, presenting landscapes or ‘portraits’ of ecosystems, showing plants in association with each other as they would be seen in their native, wild environments. With an axe hovering over our own fig tree at home we were intrigued at the scale of their ‘fig tunnel’:

Although somewhat past their best, the double herbaceous borders at Mottistone were still a treat, especially framing a view of the Elizabethan manor house:

And last but no means least was meeting up with blogging friend Jenny of Duver Diary – if you have read her recent IAVOM post you will already have heard about the assignation and the obligatory (in fact not obligatory at all, but this is what always happens when blogging friends meet up!) plant swap. “You will recognise the greenhouse”, she said, when giving directions, and we did! After looking round the garden, she and her own Golfer provided us with a lovely lunch and a most enjoyable few hours were spent chatting as if we had known each other for years, as of course we have, albeit in a virtual blogging realm.  Jenny is the 17th blogging friend I have met and this meeting was every bit as delightful as the others – thank you, Jenny, for your hospitality as well as your plants!

If you get the opportunity to meet up with blogging friends do take it; it will invariably be a most rewarding experience and will enhance the friendship still further. In the meantime, please make a virtual visit to Jon the Propagator to view his Six on Saturday and those of other blogging friends and acquaintances around the world.

This entry was posted in garden blogs, Gardens, Six on Saturday, Visiting gardens & days out and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Six on Saturday: Here and There

  1. bcparkison says:

    what fun! Meeting a blog friend and gardens rads like a perfect outing. I would really enjoy the village at Godshill.I love small things .

  2. You two are getting some trips in! Excellent. It looks as if you had a great time.

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I very much like the look of the Godshill village. I have often seen cloud pruning but didn’t know what it was called, so I learnt a new thing from your six.
    Lovely garden visits.

  4. Looks like a lovely visit – I went to Osborne House, Mottistone and the Ventor botanic gardens five years ago and they are all well worth a visit.

  5. Oh you must have enjoyed your travels Cathy. We spent a few family holidays in the ’60s on the IOW where a friend of an aunt had a boarding house. Lots of fond memories. Perilla is also known as shiso. Came across it originally in a Vietnamese restaurant and grew it a couple of summers ago. It made great growth over the summer and also has lovely little purple flowers.

    • Cathy says:

      ‘Boarding house’ sounds so antiquated now, doesn’t it?! Interesting to read you have grown perilla, Anna – would you say the variety you grew would look at home in an ornamental border?

  6. Heyjude says:

    Lovely to have a revisit to some of the gardens we went to on the IOW probably a good decade ago! Time passes so quickly.

    • Cathy says:

      We have had a w/e or so there before but without visiting any gardens, so clearly pre-dated the ‘obsession’ I now have with them!

      • Heyjude says:

        There’s only so much we can grow in our gardens (though you do pack a lot into yours) so visiting these larger ones is a feast for the eyes, seeing huge swathes of flowers and colours. My obsession really started when I was without a garden – there are only so many pots you can cram onto a small balcony space.

        • Cathy says:

          I have always been interested in plants, but for a time my main interest was houseplants, then vegetables when I first had a garden of my own, then over the years ornamental plants began to come to the fore, especially as the availability of different plants increased. A balcony though… not surprised you wanted to break out of that!

  7. Cathy must have been a wonderful trip visiting so many magnificent gardens. In RHS Harlow Carr also a family reunion: how lovely. Godshill is a town that I love, with its more than 3,000 trees and shrubs trimmed to scale. Mottistone: I love its borders of divine flowers and at the end of the road a wonderful Elizabethan house. It is a wonderful place. Cathy is very happy that you and Jenny met and spent a few pleasant hours together. It is very good to meet the bloggers in person. Greetings from Margarita x

  8. tonytomeo says:

    I am sorry I missed your post last week. I am very behind schedule! Ha, the Osborne House momentarily reminded me of the Osbourne Residence, of ‘the Osbournes’ (which was a reality show that I know nothing about.) My colleague down south maintained the landscapes there before the Osbourne Family lived there, until they relocated. During all those years, I worked at the site only once, to inspect a pair of deodar cedars. It was a young landscape, with minimal problems.

Comments are closed.