Friday 17 February 2012

Talking Gardening

Chelsea has been on the backburner this week - but gardening certainly has not. I was delighted to be a guest expert on The Alan Titchmarsh  Show - and look forward to doing it again next week.  Another lively open day on the nursery - my last for this year (well this month at least!). Chris Beardshaw came over with Peter from Furzey Gardens to sort out trees for their exhibit and on Monday night I had dinner with Wes Fleming and the Aussie crew who were on a plant finding mission for their Chelsea gardens in 2012 and 2013. - Wes was saying what a wonderful world we all work in - "lucky to be in horticulture" - I agree wholeheartedly with him. 

Then on Thursday Sunningdale Garden Centre for one of our programme of talks"Take the backache out of Gardening". These talks are always fun to do and the Sunningdale crowd are a great audience.  Diane - Coffee Shop Supervisor -created some wonderful canapes, all from foods that are certain to help with aches and pains.  Certainly they were very well recieved and set the tone for a lively and positive morning.  That's what I love about gardeners they are positive people - always looking to the future.

By midday yesterday the heavens had brightened up, it was a mild day anyway, so I could not resist the opportunity to take a trip up the road from Sunningdale to Savill Garden.  This is one of my favourite gardens at any time of the year and I particularly wanted to take a look at the Winter Beds which were redesigned and replanted relatively recently. Being half term there were loads of cars in the car park but Savill was as serene as ever.  The colours from the winter stems were spectacular and early bulbs such as snowdrops, dwarf iris and the bright yellow Narcissus bulbocodium were a welcome sight.  I was particularly taken by Cornus sanguinea Anny's Orange (without the golden yellow of Midwinter Fire) and Hedera 'Sulphur Heart' planted as groundcover studded with a sapphire blue dwarf iris.  Winter flowers such as hamamelis and sarcococca were showing the effects of last weeks frost but they still perfumed the air.  Snow seems an age ago but in places there were still patches on the ground. 
The Hillier Gardening club summer magazine - also in part the Chelsea Live magazine is now well underway.  The exhibit design............well that's another story!

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