You’ve got to love David Austin roses, and this ‘tea table’ in their stand in the marquee was almost as gorgeous as their roses. See Boscobel below, not new, just ravishing. On the way to David Austin I passed the RHS stand for the Plant of the Year 2014. I took an instant dislike to the hydrangea which won, as well as the two runners up, but thought both this Turks Cap lily Lilium martagon ‘Jennifer Evans’, (bred by Ieuan Evans) and the Trollius, ‘Dancing Flame’, (bred by Fairweathers Nursery, Hampshire, but entered by Hardy’s), were fabulous. We visited a number of new nurseries, as well as a number of ‘old friends’ and one of the first new ones was Tynings Climbers, who hold the national collections of both Passiflora CVS and Jasminum. I’d definitely like both these passion flowers – Passiflora ‘Constance Elliot’ and ‘Purple Haze’.
Also new to me was the Botanic Nursery, Atworth, who hold the national collection of Digitalis. I really like the towering spires of foxgloves and whilst I already have some in the garden, I’d definitely like more and so bought seed of Digitalis pupurea ‘Apricot’ (not sure if this is the same as ‘Suttons Apricot’ I have already), D x mertonensis (I’ve grown this before but don’t have it currently and was inspired to grow it again by the ‘Positively Stoke-on-Trent’ planting), D. ‘Primrose Carousel (a lovely cream with purple spotted throat, see photo below) and D. Lutea, which I’m hoping to get to grow in the shady oak bed. I also admired the grasses on the Eversley Nursery stand and particularly liked the cream pom poms on this Sesleria nitida. Of nurseries I’ve bought from before, the Hardy’s stand was looking great and won Gold again. In addition to the new Trollius above, I liked a low pink Geranium ‘Elke’ and a good blue, Geranium ‘Rozanne,’ as well as this rather mad peony, Paeonia ‘Copper Kettle’. Another nursery I’ve bought from before is Trewidden Nursery, who are based in Cornwall and, according to their websire, are the most south westerly nursery in mainland Britain. They specialise in exotics, such as Proteas, Restios and succulents and, living in a relatively mild spot myself, I bought a couple of plants from them earlier in the year. This time I’ve gone for seeds and am trying Tulbaghia simmleri, Aloe striata, Lessertia montana, and Gladiolus papilio – but forgot to take any photos.
And now for the real shock. The OH, who to date has confined himself to succulents and, (when badgered), the lawn, had a very long chat with the man at Hampshire Carnivorous Plants and treated himself to a set of three small plants. He doesn’t seem to have the names of them, but they’re definitely one each of (some kind of) Venus Fly Trap, Pitcher Plant and a Sundew. They’ve already been transferred from their plug packaging, and are now sited in the greenhouse. Could this be the beginning of something?