There is something to be said for visiting other people’s gardens, places that you aren’t intimately acquainted with. Actually there is a lot to be said. At certain times of the year I go for long periods without travelling much further than my workplaces and this is to my detriment. This only relates to my professional life you understand, I do occasionally venture to Barnstaple* for recreational purposes. I, naturally, digress; garden visiting can be inspiring, consoling, enlightening, encouraging. Recently I have visited two garden in the capacity of admirer and commentator. They are both gardens that I have visited often, they are both gardens that I love. The first is Marwood Hill Gardens, 20 acres of wonder and water. The second is RHS Rosemoor, excellence without pomp. Both contain an enviable selection of specimen trees, shrubs, herbaceous, bedding, the list is comprehensive. Both have their own personality and mood.
This flowering bramble, Rubus spectabilis “Olympic Double” or the Salmonberry, was found in both. It is a North American cousin of our favourite roadside berry provider and erstwhile adversary. Whilst it has some of the bad habits of its wild counterpart (it suckers, has a lax habit and is generally unruly) the stunning flowers at this time of year balance the negatives. They will produce fruit but the jury is out as to how worthy they are, they are at worst dull and at best average. Perhaps as a rejuvenating nibble as you wander past on a hot day they would be ambrosial but do not expect them to wow in a crumble.
*for those of you who know Barnstaple this may be mildly amusing, for those of you who don’t, it is absolutely hilarious.