“We’ve cre­ated a win­ter won­der­land” Grow fool­proof crops

A swirling sea of cro­cus and snow­drops greets vis­i­tors to this well-or­gan­ised Here­ford­shire gar­den

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents -

As soon as you ar­rive at Ivy Croft it’s ob­vi­ous that this is a wellordered plot. The pleached limes, un­der­planted with neatly clipped box, are the epit­ome of per­fec­tion along the drive. Here there’s a bell to alert own­ers Sue and Roger Nor­man to the fact a visi­tor has ar­rived. Don’t ex­pect them to emerge from the house though – they’ll ei­ther be in the gar­den or work­ing in the barn. “We gar­den nearly all day, ev­ery day,” says Sue. Over the past 20 years Sue and Roger have trans­formed their for­mer small­hold­ing into a gar­den that’s fa­mous for its snow­drops. They also run a nurs­ery from the gar­den, and in Fe­bru­ary it’s alive with ac­tiv­ity as gar­den­ers from all over the re­gion come to in­vest in snow­drops. “The gar­den is our hobby, our pas­sion and our work­place,” says Roger. “When we first ar­rived, there was no gar­den here at all – just a cou­ple of plas­tic pots out­side for­mal frame­work (clock­wise from above) The for­mal front gar­den is home to a shaggy golden Chamae­cy­paris pisifera ‘Fil­if­era Aurea’, Acer griseum, white birch and clipped box; snow­drop Galan­thus ni­valis sander­sii Group with red-berried Rus­cus ac­ulea­tus; in the dis­play beds all 200 galan­thus cul­ti­vars are care­fully la­belled; a reg­i­ment of box balls and pleached limes line the drive IN­SeT Galan­thus ni­valis ‘mer­lin’

the front door. The prop­erty ap­pealed to us be­cause the land was so flat. Our pre­vi­ous gar­den was very steep, and Sue was concerned about how we would gar­den there as we got older.” Today the gar­den at Ivy Croft is in its prime. The for­mal front gar­den is home to pyra­mid box that stand to at­ten­tion on ei­ther side as you walk down the path. “We clip the box in Au­gust and do very lit­tle else to it,” says Sue. “We think that our open site here makes them less prone to box blight as there’s plenty of air cir­cu­lat­ing around them.”

“In Fe­bru­ary the nurs­ery is alive with ac­tiv­ity as peo­ple come to in­vest in snow­drops”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.