Good in Bed

We were intrigued by the title of our March talk. However we soon found out that
Annie Godfrey, the owner of Daisy Roots, an independently run nursery in Hertfordshire, really knew which plants were ‘good doers’ Annie specialises in growing perennials and grassland in 2017 won Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows. Her keen interest implant, her enthusiasm and knowledge made for an excellent evening and there were many comments from members who clearly enjoyed her presentation and learnt a lot. Annie said that she would talk us through plants which found had a long season interest and worked well in small spaces. She presented these in chronological order from early spring through to late Autumn. Starting with Bergenia Ruby and Cornus Alba Siberica, the red barked dog wood, showing their colours in winter through to salvias and hardy chrysanthemums to brighten the garden in late October.
Annie recommended over forty different types of perennial plant and in each case gave three or four named varieties of those she considered to be the best ‘doers’. She gave instruction on their care, cultivation and propagation and an indication as to the length of their flowering season. It was interesting to note that most of the plants highlighted by Annie required a well drained soil and many were drought tolerant – good for us here in the east of the country. A useful tip if one gardened on wet, cold, clay soil was to keep the plant in a pot and bury this in the ground so that the roots could penetrate through the bottom of the pot but the main root ball would be shielded from the cold. Annie gave an example Gaura ‘Summer Breeze’ which apparently grows well if this method is used.

Annie finished her presentation by showing us a photo of her own garden which is just 100 feet by 30 feet and was a joy to behold – no lawn – just a sea of vibrant plants and grasses growing in a most naturalistic way alongside a wide, winding gravel path. This garden is open to the public under the National Garden Scheme for one evening and one Sunday afternoon in August. Daisy Roots nursery is open on Fridays and Saturdays between March and October. Annie has a first class website and plants can be ordered on line.

This was an excellent, well planned talk by a very knowledgeable expert and it was a pleasure to welcome her to our Gardeners Association.

A selection of photos, courtesy of Daisy Roots:

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 17th April when Deric Newman will talk about Civic Trees.

Linda Truscott

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