Sunday, 31 May 2015

The week after Chelsea

Rosa sericea JMG N3 flowering in my parents' garden: grown from seed collected in Nepal in 1988.
As usual I took the week of the Chelsea Flower Show off from work, and spent the time visiting friends and gardens in southern England. These are a few images from places visited during that week - now already seeming some time ago.

A very attractive - but unnamed - peony at Westwell Manor.

I visited Westwell Manor near Burford, Oxfordshire, in conjunction with the Culham & District Horticultural Club. Owned by the Gibson family, a charming, classically Cotswold house is surrounded by six acres of garden rooms.

Although there is good planting, the Westwell Manor garden, which was the creation of the late Mrs Gibson, is very strong on structural elements, whether living or inanimate. It was very interesting to se how these clipped Quercus ilex flush in different colours.

Strong lines: rows of lavender meet the verticals of power-washed Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii.

On the Thursday I had a pleasure of a tour round Worcester College, Oxford, with the Head Gardener, Simon Bagnall. This is a newly opened up view of the Provost's Lodging - a complete transformation of a formerly rather murky area.
Wisteria floribunda over a Worcester College archway.
The beautiful spring flush of Quercus candicans.

Buttercups under the old fruit trees in the Worcester orchard.

On Thursday evening my mother and I went botanising at Winter Hill, a fine tract of chalk downland near Cookham, Berkshire, remarkably unspoilt amid the congestion of the Thames Valley.

Abundant Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata) was one of the highlights of the evening.

A rather yellow moment at the Garden House, Condicote, Gloucestershire, on the Friday.

Exquisite planting at Condicote: Adiantum venustum, Milium effusum 'Aureum' and new shoots of Danae racemosa.

Subtle but delightful: Peltaria alliacea, Aquilegia vulgaris and Nectaroscordum siculum, at Cotswold Garden Flowers, Badsey, Worcestershire: my last port of call before heading north.

The display beds at CGF are full of good plants but are rather chaotic: here the yellow-leaved raspbery (Rubus vitis-idaea 'Aureum') is weaving between hellebores, Crocosmia and Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum).


  1. A whole week visiting gardens!...sounds and looks like heaven!

  2. Lovely Blogspot, John.

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