My dreams were invaded by a knock, knock, knocking followed by a small voice “its 9 o’clock”. It took a few seconds to remember where I was, for what reason and what I had left to do before I headed home. So I sprung (tumbled) out of bed, abluted and breakfasted at top speed, soon ready for my tour of The Farmer’s Wife’s garden. I have visited this garden several times before and each time it is a joy and an education. Although TFW is cruelly self critical, this is an indication of her modesty and dedication. It is a wonderful garden and open for the National Garden Scheme, get there if you can, for details see http://www.ngs.org.uk .
After a quick cuppa, we loaded my car with some generous donations, including three large pieces of gunnera, a Miscanthus “Cosmopolitan” and Lysimachia clethroides (eek!), and headed off in convoy back up the motorway. We were on our way to Holbrook Garden and their nursery Sampford Shrubs, http://www.samshrub.co.uk/ horrah! I was given a head start as TFW drives a reproduction of the Bluebird whereas my car is a cast off from the clowns at Billy Smarts Circus. Luckily we arrived just about the same time. We then wandered around this lovely garden where we enjoyed treats such as the little species tulips above, swathes of lenten daffodils, blossoms of cherry, rhododendron and magnolia. We were then treated to an alfresco lunch of home made bread, artisan cheese, chicory, celery and cherry tomatoes. Followed by carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Just perfect. So very kind and so very much appreciated. Then there was purchasing. Just to be polite you understand. I further fuelled my salvia habit (I don’t care what you say five more is not excessive) and bought a phlomis for Max’s garden. TFW found some gems for her new alpine bed and to fill the colour gap. And all too soon it was time for goodbyes and until-next-times.
It was a wonderful couple of days. All my senses had been vigorously assaulted, in the best possible way. But the image that has stayed with me is a meadow at Holbrook. We emerged from a wooded pathway to discover a thick quilt of snakes head fritilleries, the sight of which evoked gasps of disbelief and cries of glee.