Thursday, September 28, 2006
The talks in Stirling were all fantastic. Anna Pavord gave suggestions for combining plants in a garden so that they would work as a "relay race", giving a long season of interest - e.g. celandines planted under crambe, or so that they complimented each other - e.g. catmint hiding the scruffy leaves of allium christophii. The only pity was that she was cut off when she went slightly over time. I am sure that most people there would rather have cut 10 minutes out of the lunchbreak and heard her whole lecture.
The talk by David Howard about the gardens at Highgrove was interesting as I had always assumed that it would be a very formal place, whereas the reality is quite different with tulips in long grass, a very Alice in Wonderland Black and White garden and the beginnings of experiments with perennials planted in long grass.
This last is something I am keen to do - we accidentally grew the Scotch thistle onopordum in our long grass and it loked fantastic - as have the few columbines and allium that I have tried. I think that the problem will be in keeping them for more than a couple of years.
Tom Hart-Davis,( a young mockney orchid collector who was kidnapped in the Darien Gap and held for 9 months) was a great success with the ladies of a certain age who almost gave him a standing ovation. For me the highlight of the talk was hearing about how his 2 pigs cleared a walled garden of perennial weeds. When I get my next field I shall definately try that!
All 3 talks were excellent - the SGS will have to pull the stops out next year to better it.