Friday, 31 May 2013

A Working day at Wisley

A couple of Saturdays ago, just after my friend Sandy returned home to California, I spent a day in the Glasshouse at RHS Wisley with other committee members of The Pelargonium & Geranium Society.  Wisley had their annual display of pelargoniums in the Glasshouse and they had invited us along to promote our Society.




 So 8.30 am on the Saturday morning saw seven of us driving our cars along the back road into Wisley to park behind the glasshouse.   We had three trestle tables which we covered with a black cloth and three members had brought their own plants along to display.  We decided that as the Wisley display was mainly zonals, regals, angels and scenteds, we would show some of the species types.

We did not join any new members, but we had a lot of interest shown in our plants and in the Society.

We plan to be more organised next year with the RHS giving us a bit more notice and we will hope to put on some demonstrations of taking cuttings and caring for the plants.

If you can, do visit Wisley in the next couple of weeks and pop into the Glasshouse to see the display.  It should be looking very good just now.

I did have time to have a look at the rest of the glass house and saw the Jade Vine flower - the first time it had flowered at Wisley. The Jade Vine is native to The Philippines and it really is this colour!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Garden History Museum

The first place Sandy and I visited on our trip to London was the Garden History Museum.  For anyone interested in gardening, this is well worth a visit if you are in London.   Set up in the ancient church of St. Mary’s, which is on the south bank of the Thames, next to Lambeth Palace and opposite the houses of Parliament.    The church interior has been transformed into a centre for exhibitions, events and lectures.  There is a fascinating and permanent display of garden tools, ephemera and historic artefacts.

Outside is the magnificent tomb of the first great gardener and plant hunter John Tradescant  and his son, also John.  It was in the discovery of this important tomb that in 1977 the abandoned church, which was due to be demolished, was rescued and the Museum was set up.   The panels on the sides of the tomb depict objects from the Tradescants' collections.

The Garden was created in 1980 and the central knot garden  was designed by the President of the Museum, The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury.     The garden is planted with species introduced by the Tradescants , and many others grown by them in their own Lambeth garden.  

Tomb of Vice Admiral Wm. Bligh, Captain of HMS Bounty when the now infamous mutiny, led by Fletcher Christian, took place.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Loved Brugge

We loved Brugge!  After our trip to the amazing Katrien Michiel's Fuchsia and Pelargonium Nursery, we drove to Brugge.   We loved Brugge (did I say that already??).   When we arrived we found a policeman and barrier blocking our route into the City.  I stopped the car (probably should not have done that as it was a fairly fast road) and hopped out to ask.   He told me that there were a lot of people going to be leaving the city and it was closed for security reasons.  He actually wasn't very friendly, but I guess I was probably the umpteenth foreign person to have stopped to ask why we could not enter Brugge, and it was a hot day.  So, we parked up a bit farther along the road and walked into the city.    After walking for about twenty minutes we saw there was a marathon on - hundreds of runners.


There was not much we could do, and nothing open for a drink - soft or otherwise - so we walked back to where we needed to enter the city with the car and then found that we could now drive in.   Another walk back to the car and we drove to our hotel.  After settling into our room we went out to discover Brugge.  I had been there before on a day trip, but Sandy had not.  We were quite hungry and weary and just could not decide what we wanted to eat so ended up in a burger bar.  Actually very good.   The next day we went exploring.

We loved this building with the pots of tulips in the window boxes - it was so high.

Have you ever heard hang drums?  They make a really good sound and this chap played a didgeridoo as well.   Sandy and I had never heard this before and stopped to listen for quite a while, then we bought his CD.  You can hear hang drums being played on YouTube.  They are a Swiss invention apparently.

Interesting motor scooter covered in wine bottle sticky back plastic.

Very very naughty chocolate!

Of course, there were the canals:

Fish and chips, Belgium style.  Very good.

We thought this dog had the best spot to take a nap.

We loved Brugge (think I might have already said that!)  More soon on our adventures.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Visit to Belgium

Hello again.  It seems an age since I was last here, but I have had a friend from California visiting and so not much time for blogging, or crochet, or gardening.   She returned home last week, and I have been 'catching up' with myself.

As you will know, I am a 'pelarholic'!  I have two greenhouses full of pelargoniums, from species to zonals.  My friend Sandy is the same - in fact we met on the Internet about 13 years ago through our love of pelargoniums.  We have had several pelargonium related trips together over the years.  This trip we went to Belgium to visit Michiel's Fuchsia and Pelargonium Nursery.   Oh, we were in pelargonium heaven! The plants were in absolute tip top condition and we bought several plants that are not now readily available here in the UK.  We even went back the following morning for a few more plants!    Needless to say, my car was full of plants because we also had some that friends had asked us to look out for.

Pelargonium Sales Area

Plants ready for packing and posting

My car - plants in the boot

 Plants on the back seat

Watch out for my post about our stay in Brugge.