Friday, March 23, 2012

A jaunt to Guernsey

  A whistlestop trip to Guernsey to do an RHS regional lecture for Floral Guernsey. The island once had a thriving horticultural industry (cut flowers, tomatoes, veg) but now rather sadly reduced although the Raymond Evison Clematis empire is the bright spot. Lots of derelict glasshouses (reminded me of post-communist Bulgaria in the 1990s). Otherwise thriving. A very mild climate so enormous camellias everywhere and lots of exotica. Giant echiums have clearly naturalised. A lot of good gardening going on, but no 'great gardens' - this is not Cornwall, but fantastic scope for interesting planting on a small scale. I went to one private garden which I  loved, Jane and David Russell's Mille Fleurs. They live at the top of a slope with a borrowed landscape of woodland and a resevoir.


It felt very tropical, not in an overt self-conscious way, but in lots of little touches like having a Clematis armandii growing into a tree, which could have been a hoya in a tree in southern India.





    Shady, woodland, a lot of it, with a ground flora of primroses and lots of interesting self-seeding - all very un-English, even palm Trachycarpus fortunei self-seeding. A tree fern draped with epiphytic ferns (they arrived with it form Aus) - again, I felt i could have been in India.


   The lovely Luma apiculata thrives and self-sows too. If humans suddenly disappeared from here, the island would rapidly cover in exotic woodland I am sure - like Tresco in that way.



Loved this treatment of the patch you don't want to mow or to have grass around a tree.
And with minimal frost (if lots of wind) you can grow giant aeoniums on the dustbin box, and hardly ever need water them. Some Narcissus 'Hawera' in here too.

6 comments:

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Beautiful garden and most likely a lovely place to stay on Guernsey. I'm bookmarking their site now...

ProfessorRoush said...

That second picture looks very American Southwest-y to me. Almost arid in appearance.

AlternativeEden said...

Great photos from your visit. Guernsey and Jersey have been on our list to visit for a while.

I love the tree with the small logs placed round it, quite a clever idea.

My Journey With Candida said...

I love the way they put the logs around the tree. I have a spot that is so hard to mow. I might have to look into this further.

I have a Garden Club blog linky up on my blog if you are interested in linking on it. You can link any post, it doesn't have to be a new one.

Capital Gardens said...

Lovely pictures - I love the logs around the tree too! I would just have thought they were decorative, didn't consider that they can make mowing easier too - wish I'd known that when I lived in my last house and had a million trees in the garden!

Dale Evans said...

Photos in your post are awesome! I was going to Guernsey alone, amazing? Later on my friend wished to be with me, we enjoyed a lot. Actually for me it was an official tour but with my friend soon it became a fantastic experience.