Show Time - A Garden for our work.
Compost mixes, late night pest control, hose pipes and hoeing, growing plants is a dirty business really. It is only in the showcasing of your hard work that's all glitz and glamour! With this in mind we thought it was about time that we put our money where our mouth was and demonstrated that when we say "we know perennials", we really do.
Working behind the scenes has given us a sound knowledge of growing perennials and our love of marrying colours, leaf shape and form has set us in good stead for suggesting collections to out customers. We never really had a place to showcase our work as such, so in September 2021 we broke ground on what was to become our very own Show Garden.
After a long winter of clearing the site of bamboo, brambles and bindweed - not for the faint hearted, we set about the hard landscaping. Enlisting the help of local builder friend Martin, we designed the garden around a series of circles, with each section being an opportunity to showcase a collection of plants based on a colour wheel and in spring 2021 the hard landscaping commenced. Red brick was used to edge the paths and seating areas which gave continuity with the early 19th century farmhouse buildings. While the light granite chipping lifted the feel and guided the eye down the paths to explore further.
Another good friend David was enlisted to created the Oak pergolas, obelisks and uprights for the rose swags, which were soon to be adorned with no less than thirty five David Austin Roses.
Plant selection was easy - we know what works well in our Devon soil. We also knew what we wanted; a space to demonstrate beautiful plant pairings and selections that work well together. However being a relatively small nursery we also knew we had limited space to work with and would have to be selective when choosing from our range of pot grown perennials.
Based around our offering of collections we created different areas to feature collections of hot, white, cool and pastel coloured plants. With such a love of herbaceous perennials it was refining these choices that was the difficult part.
Inspired by Sissinghursts' White garden, we have selected a choice selection of white plants to illuminate the garden at dusk. Favourites include Agapanthus, Echinacea, Campanula, Gaura as well as umbels such as Orlaya. The hot border features a collection of warm favourites such as Achillea, Helenium, Rudbeckia, and Coreopsis all flowering on into late summer. Cottage classics and subtle shades adorn the Pastel Border where Asters, Campanula, Geranium, Pimpinella, Knautia and Lupins to name a few, all mingle against a backdrop of Devon stone. While the Cool collection is just that. A selection of plants to calm the senses and sooth the soul amongst the bustle of modern life.
Oak obelisks and box balls give the garden a sense of structure over the winter months, although most of the garden is left standing over winter to support wildlife.
Like all gardens, our show garden is constantly evolving and will do so to some degree as our range offering changes so there's always something new to see. We have plans to extend the garden over the coming year and there's even talk of a bog garden in the making. I can see things being very busy!