Another gorgeous June day and another garden visit. This time to White Cottage Daylilies just across the harbour in Bembridge.
I first read about Nick Peirce’s garden in one of the posh gardening magazines a couple of years ago. I was thinking what a stunning, intriguing garden, and was then absolutely stopped in my tracks to learn it was on the island. Since then I’ve been a couple of times and was intending to go for Nick’s NGS opening earlier in the month, but got the day wrong. So bereft was I, I emailed Nick to ask if I could schedule a private visit and he kindly obliged. I was accompanied by my friend Louise from the Old Rectory and it was such a joy to introduce two of my gardening heroes to each other. Both had heard of the other (from amongst others the Telegraph garden writer Jean Vernon, who’s written about both their gardens) but had not met and had not visited the other’s gardens before,
Nick’s cottage is terraced and so, when you enter the garden, the space is initially quite narrow. However this initial confinement is only temporary, as the garden widens as you explore. There is no lawn, so access through the garden is via a sinuous path which winds directly through the planting. ‘Through’ being an accurate description, as by this time of year the planting is spilling out onto the paths, adding to the sense of discovery,
Nick admitted to us that whilst his first love was daylilies, he has since become intrigued by succulents, and more recently species fuschias, but there is a lot more going on in this garden than just those three genera.
Not only was yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday photo of Solanum Pyracanthum taken at Nick’s, but he introduced us to a host of other plants we were unfamiliar with including Buddleia colvilei ‘kewensis’
So back to the first three genera. Nick has been breeding daylilies for years now – just as well, as it takes three years from seed to flower and then another three years until potential registration. If you look on his website you’ll see he has now registered ten daylilies, all with the prefix ‘Vectis’ to denote their Isle of Wight heritage and that they’re his introductions. It was a little early in the year for the daylilies, but there were a couple more bred by Nick to admire.
Nick also had some intriguing species fuschia. The only one of his I recognised was Fuschia microphylla, which I have and have previously written about, but this one was gorgeous – so incredibly dainty, Fuschia procumbens variegata.
With many thanks to Nick for being such a charming and informative host, But also for being so outrageously generous to not accept payment for the many plants we staggered home with.