Sunday 24 June 2012

Garden parties

Beautifully kept hedges at Covertside.
The weather this week has alternated between beautifully fine and quite dreadful, so anyone planning an event for the weekend has been anxiously watching the forecast. I had two to go to today: first, John and Lyn Sales's annual coffee morning at their home, Covertside, and in the afternoon the Oxford Alpine Garden Society Group's conversazione. The earlier part of this morning was fine but when I left the house at 10.25 it was absolutely tipping down. Five miles down the valley at Covertside, however, the clouds were just dark in the distance... The garden was looking lovely as usual, but the strange season has delayed the Iris latifolia display with which the event is timed to coincide, so we missed that pleasure. (See my post from 29 June 2011)

Carefully managed turf full of wild flowers, with the garden behind.

Pelargoniums in the conservatory.

John Sales and Sibylle Kreutzberger.

A corner of the Collins's garden.
Our conversazione was held in the garden of Catherine, Chris and Nicola Collins in the village of Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. They too had had torrential rain in the morning, but it passed just before we arrived and the rest of the afternoon was perfect, giving us chance to explore a very interesting, evolving garden, as well as enjoying good company and a sumptuous tea of sandwiches and cakes (kindly provided by the committee). Nicola has a collection of the genus Arum, of which a few A. concinnatum remain in flower. I had not previously realised quite how appallingly malodorous they are, but at least they have the decency not to stink until late in the afternoon and we got through tea unassailed, but the full force hit us at the plant stall afterwards.

Celia Sawyer proffers a particularly delicious fruit and cream flan.

Both events had tempting plant stalls - but I was good, and acquired only two...

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