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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Amongst the Giant Echium Growers

The Fuchsia Garden and beyond, the bathing pool
Since today looked like the first proper summer day, I took myself off  to Hidcote "an inspirational arts and crafts garden that's gradually been returned to its 1930's heyday" according to the leaflet. As I wandered around, I kept my eyes open for any Giant Echiums. I had seen some dead ones previous years and as regular readers will know, I grow them myself with some success

Didn't see any though. Then I encountered a couple of the gardening staff and asked them if they had any giant echiums?

"Somebody must have primed you with that question!" said the guy and pointed a little further along the path to where a fine young Echium Pininana was waiting patiently in a bucket! They were just about to plant it out in a sheltered area a little to the south of the "Hydrangea Corner". Naturally, we fell to comparing experiences.  They'd grown this specimen in a greenhouse and  hoped to get it through next winter to flower.
Their Echium
Even if it didn't survive, it would still have been an interesting presence in the garden this summer. The chap had first encountered Echiums in Scotland years ago before he got into horticulture. In the past, he'd tried building cages of straw around the plants for over-wintering without much success. His female companion knew that they didn't like root disturbance so it was no good trying to replant/transplant them when larger. I told them about my successes growing Echiums near a large west facing wall and they started wondering about a flower bed next to the main house...

There was lots else to see....
The Beech Alley

The Bathing Pool - people throw coins in it!
The Stilt Garden - essentially, a rather eccentrically pruned beech hedge
The Long Walk

A Mesembryanthemum
Found this in the Alpine Terrace

A budding Allium

The Pillar Garden
A Poppy?
Found this nice ground cover in a shady spot

There were several of these in the orchard area. Don't know what they are

The Plant House

They use pigs to prepare more kitchen garden space

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