Many of us gain great enjoyment from visiting gardens large and small throughout the year. Paul Fricker, our Chair of BGA, is no exception and we were so pleased that he agreed to share with us some of his stunning photos of the most beautiful inspirational gardens …
The first one was Aston Pottery Garden in the Cotswolds which brought back many happy memories as we went there on a BGA outing several years ago and were bowled over by the fabulous borders, the lovely pottery, excellent restaurant and the energy and enthusiasm of the owner – time for a return trip maybe. The second garden was more local.
Many of us have visited The Swiss Garden, created by Lord Ongley in the 1820s and designed in the then fashionable “Swiss Picturesque” style. But who knew that this garden was floodlit before Christmas as part of the Christmas Illuminations. The photos were just WOW ..
Paul then went back to 2018 when he and Kathy stayed with some American friends in Florida and they were able to explore several gardens with a subtropical feel. Many of the houses and gardens had been bought by very wealthy people who had travelled the world seeking out exotic plants.
These gardens, including The Leu Gardens and the Bok Tower Garden, are now open to the public. Paul’s photos included the Wetlands with beautiful images of roseate spoonbill, great egret and tricoloured heron which drew gasps from the audience – they were so beautiful and needless to say there was also a photo of an alligator – synonymous with this area.
Paul, who had spent six years living and working in Hong Kong showed photos of the park in the heart of Hong Kong – a tranquil space contrasting completely with the surrounding high rise buildings. The photos of the various orchids were just lovely.
Paul went on to showcase six different gardens in the west country. He started off with Knightshayes near Tiverton. This is a National Trust Garden with beautiful mature trees. Lying within a medieval priory is Cannington Walled Garden which is now owned by Bridgewater and Taunton College for students studying horticulture. The students maintain the garden which includes a potager garden with complementary planting to keep pests at bay. Greencombe house and garden are on the edge of Exmoor near to Porlock on the north Somerset coast. The azaleas and rhododendrons were just fabulous and Paul had taken some wonderful photos of large patches of erythronium lilies which are part of the national collection.
Dunster Castle in north Somerset provided the opportunity for photos of stunning views of the Quantock Hills and Exmoor.
The gardens of Hestercombe were laid out by Gertrude Jekyll and are very typical of her style. Paul and Kathy had visited the garden when it was floodlit as part of the Christmas illuminations.
The final garden was Rosemore near Bideford. Beautiful rose gardens, cottage gardens, Mediterranean garden, exotic garden, wild flower meadows and a stumpery were all captured by Paul.
What a wonderful journey through fascinating gardens. Thank you Paul – we appreciated the time and effort involved in producing a really lovely presentation – totally relaxing and inspirational and for those of you who were unable to be with us – well you missed a real treat!
Please join us next month on Tuesday 21st March at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall when we will be joined by the owners of Plantagogo. Vicky and Richard Fox are specialist growers of Heuchera, Tiarella and other perennials and they have won a Gold Medal for their display at Chelsea Flower Show every year since 2009. They will be travelling down from Cheshire and are certainly well worth listening to. They will have a selection of high quality plants for sale so if you wish to buy please bring cash. The meeting will be open to all members, new members and visitors. We look forward to seeing you then.
New members and visitors are always welcome. For more information contact: Linda Truscott on 01234 27074