The UK Branch Annual Meeting and it's Mediterranean plants!

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John

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Our first branch annual meeting was in Hampshire in a very none Mediterranean setting. We visited Carolyn Sheffield's Spring Pond Garden on Thursday which had a classic feel with it's roses, clematis and topiary and lovely tea and cakes. First photo of members in the garden.
The main day on Friday started with a visit to Victoria Wakefield's Bramdean House with a fairly formal layout with the main central axis dominated by two herbaceous borders (see photo) which were pretty much at their best. Of mediterranean (Southern African) note was her collection of Nerine which were obviously not in flower. Those in pots were dormant and the hardier ones outside were still in full leaf (see photos). A sight to see later in the year. Up till this point the rain held off and we had good weather. This broke as we headed off for lunch at a local pub.
The rest of the day was spent at Rupert and Elizabeth Nabarro's Bere Mill on the river Test. Again more refreshments and an excellent talk by Laura de Beden with emphasis on Mediterranean plantings and design.
Bere Mill was perhaps as far removed from a Mediterranean garden as you can think. Basically water meadows either side of the Test (see photo with swans) and all seen through the endless rain. Having said that at the entrance to the house they have a dry(ish) garden dominated by clipped Santolina (see photo).
The day was rounded off by an excellent meal at Bere Mill (indoors) with plenty of wine and good company. A big thank you to our hosts the Nabarro's for the main event of our meeting.
Saturday morning the rain continued and stayed with us for our visit to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens where Dave Jewell (Head of Collections) and Roy Lancaster took us on a tour of the gardens (see photo in the rain!). Predominantly an arboretum more recent planting has included herbaceous material and the newly opened Centenary Border is mainly herbaceous. Around the house (Jermyns House) there are some plants of a Mediterranean origin a few of which are shown here. Salvia chamaedryoides from Texas was flowering well against the house wall. Not easy to grow well in the UK. Phlomis longifolia was at its best with dark yellow flowers and a nice surprise to me was the rare endemic to the Azores (Macronesia/Mediterranean!) Chaerophyllum azoricum with very attractive leaves.
Many people deserve a thanks for helping to arrange this meeting but I will mention Heather Martin our branch head who checked and double checked everything (as she does) to make sure it was such a success.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

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Alisdair

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Re: The UK Branch Annual Meeting and it's Mediterranean plants!
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 08:15:07 AM »
Thanks, John: your picture of all those umbrellas in the Hillier bog garden might give some relief to all our Mediterranean friends who are sweltering in the heat now!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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oron peri

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Re: The UK Branch Annual Meeting and it's Mediterranean plants!
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 09:33:47 AM »
Beautiful photos John,
I think Alisdair is right; from here with temperatures of 37c today the pond with the lovely Swans looks like taken from a Walt Disney film... ;)  
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 09:38:48 AM by oron peri »
Garden Designer, Bulb man, Botanical tours guide.
Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.