A few years ago I cleared out my greenhouse following the losses of the winter and dumped in my compost the remains of pelargoniums and other dead items. It’s always a little sad to lose much loved plants which have given you their best. I then had some fun ordering new plants to replace the old ones (and some others!). A couple of weeks later, I found several of my ‘dead’ pelargoniums lying in the compost and sprouting new shoots from the roots. Of course, I swiftly took them out and potted them up to achieve lovely healthy plants. I am now a little less impatient to discard anything that looks dead.Continue reading Never say ‘Never’
Sussex Prairie Gardens
The Sussex Prairie Garden is a six acre garden with naturalistic planting, created by Paul and Pauline McBride, who worked with Piet Oudolf some years ago. The garden is on a farm and surrounded by oak trees, featuring a wide range of herbaceous perennials, Veronicastrums, Thalictrums, Persicarias, Sanguisorbas, Kniphofias and Hemerocallis. Huge drifts of ornamental grasses and Asters extend the season of interest hugely. In addition to the planting in the borders there are some massive pots beautifully planted up with huge salvias, Melianthus Major and splendid Pelargonium Tomentosum. The expansive beds are planned with winding rough paths to allow visitors to wander through, brushing grasses and Heleniums as they pass. It is definitely a garden for a late summer visit and seems to have managed remarkably well through this hot summer of 2022.
The plant fair on the day of our visit was spread out through the garden and accompanied by a band and stalls selling refreshments. It had a decidedly festive air! There are dozens of varieties of Miscanthus, Panicums, Molinias, Sporobolis and Penisetum and several of the plant stalls capitalize on this by selling a good selection of grasses.
The garden is at its best in late summer and into the autumn as might be expected from the nature of the plants. I have visited earlier in the year when there is far less to see.
The planting is bold and on a grand scale, not much of it less than a metre tall, but for anyone interested in growing prairie type plants or simply just interested, this is a garden well worth visiting.
Thinking we would take advantage of the extra days made available for visits to Perch Hill, we chose the one for container planting. However, on the day it was the dahlias that stole the show and which we will remember!
Although rain was not forecast, we arrived to a little bit of a mizzle and a very grey sky – in the photographs this has tended to deaden the exuberant colours. We were knocked out by Penhill Watermelon, Geri Scott and the delicious Apricot Desire, but it would be impossible to choose one favourite out of all the lovely colours. Although some are critical of the Sarah Raven enterprise, there is no question that the gardens are beautifully styled. Of course, plants are labelled so that anything you see you will find on their website, but it is a commercial business. In fact, it is good to find a label so that you can identify what you are looking at! Salvias are everywhere, edging the herbaceous borders, in pots as well as mixed through the beds. These are such versatile plants.
OPG diary – September 2021
The Long Border has its Autumn colours on. Orange Tithonia ‘Torch’ and marigold Tagetes ‘Cinnabar’, with Salvia ‘Black & Blue’ stunning in the background.
A visit to Great Comp
CABAHS members enjoyed visiting Great Comp Garden on 21 and 25 September 2020. The garden is looking so good at this time of year, it really is Salvia heaven.
July 2019 – Question Time and Salvias
Here is our panel of amateur experts, getting ready to answer members questions! It was a very enjoyable evening for the 63 members who came out on a hot summer’s evening (and braved the night filming going on at Charlton House masquerading as a gothic mansion!)
We had some very varied questions, a useful demonstration on taking cuttings (thank you Terry), some good debates about composts and chemicals and some very funny anecdotes. Hope you all enjoyed it!
We also collected a beautiful range of Salvias from our gardens, here are the pics: