Almost neighbouring Joymac Nursery is the Stephward Estate, the creation of Stephen van Belkum and Howard Eades, who have developed a tropical fantasy on a five acre site. Peacocks roam among pools and pillars, while parrots squawk in the background; there is a restaurant around a brilliant blue pool and accommodation is available (much more from their website). The gardens contain good collections of Heliconia and bromeliads, and Howard has several shade houses full of a diversity of orchids, Nepenthes and all sorts of interesting things. He imports orchids from Asia for sale through the nursery, but has also set up a lab for growing orchids from seed and has taught himself the techniques needed for this complicated process - impressive for someone who told us that ten years ago he didn't like orchids. We acquired a selection of bromeliads for Adrian's mother's garden, but the plant we all most wanted was not available, a superb specimen of the Jade Vine, Strongylodon macrobotrys. Not easy to propagate, it is greatly sought after round here, for obvious reasons (below).
In the afternoon we visited the garden of Geoff and Lynne Nichols at Southport, surrounding the family home. Situated on a ridge of a stabilised old sand dune, it commands a view of the sea, and like all such views here, enjoys convenient comfortable whale-watching. (The sea at present is thick with Humpback Whales, whose spouts and backs are to be seen constantly, with occasional spectacular breaches; this is true when watching from land, at least: on a marine whale-watching excursion we saw only two dolphins.)