John Price has sent in a selection of photographs taken at the Grayshott Gardeners’ 2019 Summer Show. Select the Photo Gallery tab to view a slide show. Best viewed on full screen.
(with the help of a few friends). February 2018, and Ann-Marie receives an offer she cannot refuse from the RHS: to design and build a small garden at Hampton Court, possibly a backyard-type, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BBC 1’s flagship programme Countryfile. The brief is just her cup of tea: nature, wildlife, preservation and diversity of plants. Although the time restraint (5 months instead of the customary 18), the extremely limited budget and the Counryfile wish list may warrant something stronger than tea!
To involve the whole nation, the idea of mirroring the diverse landscapes of the British Isles was born, followed by a period of intensive research into native plants relating to Scotland, the Dales, Lakes, Wales, the South and the Coast. It had to include massive boulders, a stream, ponds complete with a mini Giant Causeway, a hill representing the Scottish Highlands, and farming (a field planted with barley, featuring a classic Ferguson T20 tractor). By this time the suggested backyard had grown to 600 square metres.
But there was no damping Ann-Marie’s enthousiasm, and backed by staff and a bunch of extremely knowledgeable, capable and willing friends (including our own member Jill Meech, who spent a day watering the 14000 plants) all components were duly sourced and transported to their corner at Hampton Court in time for the build. 3 weeks of heavy digging and grafting in hot sunshine by an army of intrepid helpers, egged on by Ann-Marie’s example (and generous smiles) ensured that the garden was ready in time for the opening of the Hampton Court Show 2018.
By the end of Ann-Marie’s lively and illuminating Keynote Lecture, we all felt as if we’d had a hand in the creation of the garden ourselves. The garden is long gone, but the photographs (provided by Ann-Marie) show the magnificent result enjoyed by thousands of visitors!
Award-winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell is involved in the Wildlife Garden and World Food Garden at Wisley scheduled to open in Spring 2020. www.ann-mariepowell.com
The 200 acre Grade I listed valley garden in West Sussex was the destination for our annual coach trip on Sunday, a sunny day but not too hot. Event organiser Terry effected a last-minute switch of coach company, which ensured that the trip could go ahead.
Leonardslee is famous for its spring plantings of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolia trees, which cover the steep-sided slopes; although by June most had finished flowering, they provided a magnificent backdrop of different shapes and shades of green to the 7 mostly man-made lakes. Armed with a map showing the numerous trails, many members enjoyed the walks through the rhododendron woods and along the ponds, stopping to admire the dragonflies and damselflies flitting over the water, or the huge carp just below the surface. Although we had missed the colour display in the spring, coming later gave us a much more peaceful time there. It also allowed us to admire the Kousa dogwood trees covered in white flowers, including a magnificent pink-flowering one.
As well as the valley gardens, there were other attractions: a rock garden, a glass house (with pond!), a wallaby colony introduced in 1889, a vineyard with wine-tastings and a wall-to-wall collection of dolls’ houses, shops and Victorian village scenes.
There were various cafes where we could spend the pre-loaded cards given to us on coffee or lunch, and a gift shop and plant sales area, and before we knew it, it was time to get back on the coach, ending another successful Grayshott Gardeners visit.