Head for the bor­der

Visit some of Britain’s most in­spir­ing gar­dens – and bring home plants from their spring fairs. Alys Fowler roots out the best

The Guardian - Weekend - - Space | Gardens -

Ar­ley Hall and Gar­dens, Cheshire, 22 April

Ar­ley Hall is known for many things, but not least its out­stand­ing dou­ble herba­ceous bor­der planted in 1846, mak­ing it the old­est in the coun­try. As the borders gear up to full swing, the rest of the gar­den is hav­ing a party with an ex­ten­sive grove and wood­land walk packed with rhodo­den­drons and aza­lea. Once you’ve had your mul­ti­coloured fill, head to the much-loved and long-run­ning plant fair: ex­pect spe­cial­ist nurs­eries in­clud­ing Proc­tor’s Nurs­ery (for peren­ni­als, trees and shrubs) and Pet­ri­chor Bulbs, for spring bulbs, in­clud­ing large Crinum asi­aticum , al­li­ums and ca­mas­sia. The head gar­dener, Gor­don Bail­lie, will be around to give ad­vice, and the Gar­dener’s Kitchen serves hot food, drinks and cake. ar­ley­hal­landgar­dens.com

Toby’s gar­den fes­ti­val, De­von, 27-28 April

The venue is the stun­ning deer park at Pow­der­ham Cas­tle, on the banks of Exe es­tu­ary. The park harks back to the 1700s and con­tains ven­er­a­ble oaks, lime and planes; there’s an ex­ten­sive Amer­i­can gar­den with new world plants and a Vic­to­rian walled gar­den and crum­bling pic­turesque belvedere. It’s fam­ily friendly, with a chil­dren’s camp of­fer­ing bush craft, fire light­ing and wood whit­tling, plus more than 100 West Coun­try grow­ers. Visit Floyds Climbers – un­usual and tra­di­tional clema­tis and other climbers – or Poun­sley Plants for old-fash­ioned roses in­clud­ing the De­von rose, Rosa Devonien­sis – a creamy white mag­no­lia rose, listed as a her­itage plant of the county. to­by­gar­den­fest.co.uk

Arun­del Cas­tle, West Sus­sex, 29 April

This is the mag­nif­i­cent Arun­del Cas­tle’s first spring plant fair and there will be 20 spe­cial­ist nurs­eries with an em­pha­sis on lo­cally grown, un­usual and high-qual­ity spec­i­mens. Visit Blue­leaf Plants for un­usual suc­cu­lents; Hardy’s Cot­tage Plants for geums in­clud­ing G. ‘To­tally Tan­ger­ine’; and Swal­low­field’s Nurs­ery for Prim­ula au­ric­ula – it is also set­ting up a tra­di­tional au­ric­ula the­atre. Sixty thou­sand tulip bulbs have been planted in the gar­den. Not that the grounds need tulips to sing: they are packed with fea­tures from for­mal gar­dens with cen­tral canals and domed per­go­las, Ital­ianate ter­race, and an or­ganic kitchen gar­den with beau­ti­fully trained fruit and an im­pres­sive vin­ery. arun­del­cas­tle.org

Birm­ing­ham rare plant fair, Win­ter­bourne House, Uni­ver­sity of Birm­ing­ham, 20 May Win­ter­bourne House and Gar­den, a short walk from Uni­ver­sity Sta­tion, is an arts and craft sub­ur­ban villa with a seven-acre site and stun­ning walled gar­den with fa­mous crin­kle-cran­kle wall (it’s wavy, to cre­ate warm niches). It’s the uni­ver­sity’s botanic gar­den and has glasshouses for cacti, car­niv­o­rous plants, alpines and trop­i­cals. The event is part of the Rare Plant Fair um­brella, so ex­pect lots of small, un­usual nurs­eries in­clud­ing Chris Cooke for rare hardy and half-hardy bulbs, herba­ceous plants and shrubs; the Cot­tage Her­bery with peat-free herbs and un­usual ed­i­bles; and Greens Leaves nurs­ery where Paul Green will sell un­usual hol­lies, wil­lows, Corokia co­toneaster and the twisted stemmed Sophora ‘Lit­tle Baby’. win­ter­bourne.org.uk

Helm­ing­ham Hall spring plant fair, Stow­mar­ket, 27 May The red-bricked Tu­dor Hall has a moat and its draw­bridges are pulled up ev­ery night. In the grounds are herba­ceous borders, a Vic­to­rian walled kitchen gar­den, ap­ple and pear or­chard, and parter­res. The plant fair fea­tures ex­cel­lent cel­lent nurs­eries in­clud­ing Tree Peony Com­pany from York­shire ork­shire for rare, scented tree pe­onies from cen­tral and north-west China. Suf­folk Plant Her­itage has rare plants such as the slen­der, pink flow­ered Fuch­sia ‘Whiteknights Pearl’ which is free to the first 800 vis­i­tors. There’s a mar­quee with plant doc­tors and work­shops, and guided tours with owner and gar­den de­signer Xa Tollemache ( book­ing es­sen­tial). helm­ing­ham.com

High Gal­nau Manor, North Mon­mouth, Wales, 3 June

High Gal­nau was home to Henry Avray Tip­ping, the gar­den de­signer and ar­chi­tec­tural his­to­rian. It has 12 acres, an Ed­war­dian glasshouse and large per­gola. Stone steps go down to the stream gar­den with its fern­ery and prim­ula beds. En­joy the rhodo­den­dron and aza­lea groves or take in the views over the Usk Val­ley with a slice of home­made cake.

At the plant fair, look out for Mrs Mitchell’s Kitchen And Gar­den for aga­pan­thus, hardy gera­ni­ums, minia­ture hostas, monar­das and pe­onies. Also Mill­wood Plants, which spe­cialises in un­usual cot­tage gar­den plants and prom­ises to bring the bleed­ing heart Di­cen­tra ‘Burn­ing Hearts’, dwarf meadow rue Thal­ic­trum kiu­sianum and white lace flower, Or­laya gran­di­flora . rareplant­fair.co.uk

Scamp­ston Hall plant fair, Mal­ton, North York­shire, 4 June The gar­dens are dis­tinctly mod­ern within the set­ting of the 18th-cen­tury walls of the orig­i­nal kitchen gar­den. De­signer Piet Ou­dolf has planted a mod­ern peren­nial meadow that sits along­side the tra­di­tional Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown park­land. Wack’s Wicked Plants spe­cialises in car­niv­o­rous plants and grows pitcher plants, sarace­nias and venus fly traps. Visit Dark Star Plants for dark flow­ers or fo­liage. Leave time for scones: the cream teas are highly re­garded. scamp­ston.co.uk

Rare plant fair, Water­perry Gar­dens, Ox­ford­shire, 17 June Water­perry Gar­dens was home to the hor­ti­cul­tur­ist Beatrix Haver­gal’s res­i­den­tial School of Hor­ti­cul­ture for Women. There’s a knot gar­den, rose gar­den and a beau­ti­ful canal of wa­terlilies. This is an­other rare plant fair and is packed with great nurs­eries: Cotswold Gar­den Flow­ers for peren­ni­als, in­clud­ing he­le­ni­ums, asters, astibles, kniphofias, san­guisor­bas, rud­beck­ias, and ferns and grasses; Home Farm for del­phini­ums, and Hill­top Gar­den for dahlias. wa­ter­per­ry­gar­dens.co.uk

Clock­wise from op­po­site: Arun­del Cas­tle, West Sus­sex; Prim­ula au­ric­ula;

Helm­ing­ham Hall, Suf­folk; Scamp­ston Hall; Al­lium hol­landicums

‘Pur­ple Sen­sa­tion’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.