Pots and kettles

Tropaeolum tuberosum pilifera

Tropaeolum tuberosum pilifera

I was this morning staring at the iPad berating Nigel Colborn for not updating his blog for a month, (and found neither had I). I’ve no excuse, he’s a busy writer, writing in downtime must feel a chore.

Time passes stuff happens, things get forgotten, moving on. Today the 3rd of November we haven’t had a frost so far (only winds and rain so the ground is very squelchy). This Tropaeolum tuberosum pilifera from rareplants.co.uk is finally in flower. It’s been busily overrunning everything at one end of the border and it’s taken until now to actually flower.

At the end of September we travelled to East Anglia, staying in Southwold, and visited Beth Chatto’s gardens, The Old Vicarage at East Ruston (again) and Woottens of Wenhaston nursery.

Beth Chatto Gravel Garden in late September

Beth Chatto Gravel Garden in late September

On a Monday morning in late September we encountered Beth Chatto doing the rounds of her garden, slowly and purposefully she quartered her domain.

I first visited the Beth Chatto garden many years ago and was disappointed. I’d read her books (in those days line drawings and elegant prose, not loads of photographs (the Southwold visit so many years later was a nod to these books as well).  I do like the books with photos, its just a different way to absorb gardens, listening less to the gardener.

Why was I disappointed on that first visit? I don’t know. Perhaps I expected things to be more densely planted, a show garden. I found the ponds rather sombre and a little dull. This Monday in late autumn the sense of place shone through, and maybe because I’m somewhat older, ever so slightly stiller and more able to pause and regard for a while. Creating space to actually look and absorb.

We wanted to visit the gravel garden for ideas. The key plants in the garden that Monday were great washes  of various huge colchicum (Autumn crocus) and  fabulous clumps of rippling back lit grasses. Needless to say we came away with a number of those grasses from the nursery.

Huge succulent

Huge succulent

The Old Vicarage Garden at East Ruston is known for the annual huge pot displays. This one caught my eye, it’s gross, weird and Kerpow! All in one. Pity the Gazania weren’t open for the full effect.

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