For many years I have been helping with the Plant Heritage Rare Plant Fair at Felley Priory. I am one of the advance party that arrives early, 7.30am actually and puts out the signs by the roadside, checks in the nursery exhibitors and generally helps set up and man the event! Over the years I have both experienced sunstroke at this June event and more often mild hypothermia! Each time it's a wet year I swear it will be the last and this year I mean it - well I think I do! Sadly, all the volunteers are older people and as I'm one of the younger-older people, I feel guilty not volunteering! I always pack two sets of clothes for a rapid in-car change when drenched by mid morning or on those changeable days, shorts and sunscreen, although I didn't need them today!
Sadly today there were barely 200 visitors whereas a good day will bring out 600 to 800. Less gate income for Plant Heritage, less income for the nurserymen and all those bedraggled plants for them to take back home again. However, the tea room did a roaring trade on hot chocolate and homemade soup!
The accompanying pictures are from past events, because today was just too wet to get the camera out. Pity - in the garden there is a huge specimen of an exquisite tree peony. It was in full bloom today but the blooms were just too waterlogged and drooping to get a picture. Such a pity because the gardens are beautiful and well worth a visit.
|Plant Fair on a drier day!|
|The lake at Felley|
The gardens contain many unusual species, some great planting combinations, a number of small themed gardens and a tiny arboretum. The garden has its own nursery stocking mainly plants propagated from the garden.
|Cornus kousa 'Satomi'|
|Paeonia 'Sarah Bernhardt|
|Papaver orientale and Polemonium|
|Asplenium scolopendrium 'Cristatum'|
|Abutilon vitifolium 'Album' - I'm going to replace my blue one which is in the wrong location.|
|Astrantia 'Sunningdale Variegated'|
|Heliotropium 'Princess Marina' - one of the darkest and great scent. Note this is not the same as the seed raised 'Marina' which is generally scentless.|
|Buddleja 'Santana' - I'm a sucker for variegated plants!|