Horticultural Society’s Visit to Parham Gardens

Sep 3, 2018 | Bits & Bobs

Friday 10th August.  Weather Forecast:-  Fine, sunny spells. The reality:-  Dark storm clouds, heavy driving rain, with intermittent periods of gentle light drizzle!

So taking the weather in their stride, with true British grit and determination, 15 intrepid gardeners set out to enjoy Parham Gardens.

In the large walled garden, set out on a mathematical grid, the paths ran between a riot of colour dividing the lawn areas and the borders. Through a watery veil we inspected the ‘HOT’ border, a mixture of magenta, orange and red colours spilling over each other in glorious profusion – crimson lobelia cardinalis rubbing shoulders with bronze sunflowers, dark red salvias and penstemon mixing in with scarlet nasturtiums almost as far as the eyes could see.  Suddenly, turning a corner, one was confronted by the white border- white cleomes, liatris and phlox intermingled with masses of silver and grey leaved artemisias and fleabane (or if you want to be posh and show off your Latin, Erygium Karvinskiana.)

Next a yellow and gold border, before turning another corner into a trial border of climbers, all on thin pyramidal frames and with an interesting identification system of numbered flowerpots relating to a naming board, and including ipomoea, black-eyed Susans and some most extraordinary ornamental gourds.

By the time we reached the undercover of the long, narrow greenhouse, holding exotic fuchsias, the sky had cleared and there was a small patch of blue, matching the plumbago under the glass.

Fortunately, the garden design incorporated numerous brick gazebos, decorated with sculptures, in which to shelter, and it was with great joy and a sense of accomplishment that we finally repaired to the welcoming kitchen tea rooms.  We had a really good (and fun) day despite being drenched to the skin.

Now my ambition is to visit Parham on a bright, sunny day.

Wendy Duff