Autumn and winter flowering camellias. These are all cultivars of Camellia sasanqua and Camellia hiemalis. From top left going clockwise: ‘Sunrise Serenade’, ‘Gay Sue’, ‘Hugh Evans’, ‘Crimson King’, ‘Setsugekka’, ‘Lavender Queen’, ‘Winter’s Toughie’
Visiting gardens has taken on a whole new level of importance this year. With almost every other form of entertainment off limits and most local walks, lovely as some of them are, becoming all too familiar after the first few months of lockdown, I was definitely starting to crave more of a plant fix. So, once they were allowed to re-open, getting out to gardens that could be reached within around an hour’s drive of home in north London became a goal whenever there was time. Booking in advance seemed mighty strange at first but I soon got used to checking availability against the weather forecast and picking what looked like the best day to go. Packing sandwiches, a flask of coffee and and a camera in my rucksack before setting off for my allotted arrival time has become a habit that I think I will look back on fondly, despite the circumstances that led to it.
I count myself very lucky that I’ve been able to distract myself from such a dismal and scary year by looking at plants and I hope that if you read these blogs you’ll be pleasantly distracted for a while too. As I write this in early December there is finally some real hope that 2021 will see a return to something like normal life, but we still have the rest of winter to get through first. Stay safe, everyone.
Visits with interesting plants. Blog posts 2020
- Autumn colour. Looking back at visits to Anglesey Abbey, Audley End, Kew Gardens, RHS Wisley, Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens and Green Island Gardens
- Borde Hill Gardens, West Sussex – past and present meet in this varied and beautiful garden
- Thornbridge Hall Gardens, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire
- Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire
- Athelhampton House and Garden, Dorset, March 2020.
- The Garden Press Event 2020 – Garden trends and old friends
- The Savill Garden, February 2020
Visits with interesting plants. Blog posts from 2019
- Visits January/February 2019 – Winter Gardens
- Visits March 2019 – Meadowcroft Garden Centre Pansy and Viola Festival
- Visits April 2019 – Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens
- Visits April 2019 – Mapperton House and Garden
- Visits May 2019 – RHS Chelsea Flower Show
- June 2019 – RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
- Visits June 2019 – Gardener’s World Live Show
- Visits June 2019 – David Austin Roses
- Visits July 2019 – Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival