As I look around my garden I am very conscious of the origin of many of my plants. I have a bright pink phlox which was originally in my mother’s garden and which comes up faithfully year after year – highly scented but rather susceptible to disease and needs to be cosseted a little. And then there are the Salvias, many of which are from Terry, but Jezebel and Phyllis’ Fancy are from Pat.
Over the years a number of plants have been bought from the plant sales held in Jillian’s wonderful garden when it was opened to visitors and have now become mainstays in my own.
I now have a small collection of Acers, but my first one came from an open garden in Beckenham Hill. The couple gardened on a steep slope covering a vast area, at the bottom of which was a railway track. He was an acer expert and grew many rare varieties, some of which he propagated himself. The garden was always a pleasure to view and my love of Acers began here. Sadly, I no longer have my original purchase, although it lived to a good age and the couple sold their house some years ago and moved away. I remember him saying that they would need a single large furniture van just to transport the plants!
I have long cultivated the beautiful Pelargonium Sidoides, but at one of our Autumn Shows, Harry showed a variety with a slightly different colour – paler and more crimson than mine, he gave me two pieces immediately and I successfully rooted these to produce my own plants. This year at the Old Pond Garden sale, Jean offered a pelargonium with a leaf which looked very much like Frank Headley but with a frilly pink and white flower – I think she called it Apple Blossom. I bought this and have made two cuttings which I hope will give me more plants of this unusual variety. On a recent visit to Great Dixter, I fell in love with P. Concolour Lace. Kathy had some to spare and I have bought one from her.
And so it goes on: the gardening stories and memories which we make with each other.