the sort of plants I would love to grow, circumstances permitting
We've been dodging the rain all day, but it hasn't deterred the plant hunters (me included). It's been the perfect opportunity to trawl the hundred or so nurseries exhibiting in the Floral Marquee, along with other visitors of like mind. I added to my eclectic collection of edible plants, but was so busy buying, I omitted to take photos (see them in-situ in my garden, in forthcoming posts, once they have been established). For the curious, I bought a pelargonium with rose-scented leaves, a cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) which can be used medicinally - it has glorious violet-blue thistle-like flowers beloved by bees, and a Crambe maritima (sea-kale) for my perennial veg patch, which I hope will do better than my last plant which did not like the prolonged -9 degrees celsius of our last winter. It succumbed.
I drooled over stalls selling a couple of my favourite decorative plants - the auricula and iris. I love both because they can be stylised in my creative work (I sometimes paint auricula flowers onto terracotta plant pots.) I grow a certain number of iris because they remind me of mediaeval manuscripts, but in general, at the moment at least, most of my garden is taken up with plants for culinary uses.
I was clearly quite abstemious with my plant purchases. Stands selling fold-up carts were doing a roaring trade, and I felt for the couple of girls I spotted guarding either their own purchases, or those of friends.
In the permanent exhibition halls, there was still more to see and buy. I admired the miniature garden on display near one entrance; it took me back to my childhood when I was continually making similar ones (though nothing professional as this one was) - either miniature gardens, or miniature theatres. It's a perfect way to get young children involved in thinking about gardening, and in using their imagination to make something from odds and ends. That perhaps is for another rainy day (as this day was). Real gardening is so much more fun, and Raymond and I ended the hours of trekking from stall to stall back in the open, to buy an apple tree for three of our grandchildren, to celebrate a special family occasion.
"the apple tree do lean down low, in Linden Lea"
(no prizes for identifying the source of this quote)
And so our three days have come to an end. One of the highlights for me has been the brief get-togethers with fellow gardening bloggers at 'Meet at Malvern'; trying to put faces to names and then discover whose blog is which. Thankyou, Michelle and Helen, for all your hard work to make this possible. Let's hope we can keep meeting in cyberspace - and perhaps again at the Malvern Autumn Show? (A 'Celebration of Nature's Harvest, 25th & 26th September, 2010).
bloggers all - adding immeasurably to 'gardening togetherness' despite the published words of a fellow journalist (I won't even do him the courtesy of naming and shaming him) whose comments smacked of unprofessionalism, or sour grapes