Once we had munched some lunch and perused the programme we headed to the Rose Marquee which for some reason had a rather charming Alice in Wonderland theme. We sniffed, snuffled and oohed and ahhed our way through the roses, eventually coming to the conclusion that Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’ (left) from David Austen’s stand had the most gorgeous scent, though it was a tough competition.
Adjacent to the Rose marquee was the Plant Heritage Marquee where the plant collectors live with their information pamphlets on cultivation and their excitement for a single genus, or even a single species. Something in the careful presentation and slight air of obsession appeals to me although I don’t have the concentration required to join the hallowed ranks of these plantophiles. I particularly liked the carnations (right – Dianthus ‘Tayside Red’) and the carnivorous plants. My sister has a minor obsession with native carnivorous plants, getting down on her hands and knees excitedly in a bog at the sight of a Sundew plant or Butterwort so I was tempted to buy her one. But in the end I felt carnivorous plant plus tube journey would almost certainly equal disaster.
As I wrote yesterday, The Stockman’s Retreat by Chris Beardshaw was my favourite show garden. The Copella garden (below) was also beautiful; it forms an appeal to us to look after our orchards and apple trees and prevent them disappearing at the current rate. It was planted with apple trees and bee-friendly plants as well as featuring some stunning wood work. I asked after an attractive umbellifer in the garden to be told it was carrot! As a biennial it makes a rather attractive plant in its second year apparently.
I also really liked the LOROS hospice garden which was colourful and yet calm. The garden is going to be relocated to the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice after the show. I wonder if they’ll notice if I steal that pavilion en route? Surely not.
The RHS Edible Garden had stilt-stalking hop pickers, a pond and coracle, cider press (left) and lots of beautiful plantings of flowers and edibles together. Grafted vegetables were impressive and the attached Marquee was full of tempting seeds and plants.
After perusing all the veggies we stopped to have a glass of Pimms and sent texts to loved ones saying ‘well, it’s not raining yet’. We should have known better. By the time we finished our Pimms great heavy drops had started to fall.
I enjoyed several of the small gardens depite the rain and although I showed you the fun 5-a-Day garden yesterday my favourite was the Wild Side garden, a city wildlife friendly garden, unfortunately none of my photos of it are any good! I also particularly liked the Heathers in Harmony gardenwhich made an attempt to rehabilitate Heathers in the estimation of the nation and the Deptford Project garden (pictured).
It was an inspiring, thought provoking and tiring day. And now I know another great thing to do with carrots!