I can’t believe that I left early to go to a plant fair all of a mile way from my house but 9.30 found us in the line waiting for the gates to open. Actually, it was worth it not to have to queue on the road for ages as once we were in we drove straight through to the parking area, and onward to the entrance gazebo. Interestingly, they don’t tell you about the free plant for the first 800 visitors, you have to use your iniative and find the Plant Heritage marquee yourself. Penstemmon this time.
Plant of the day seemed to be Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpurem’ spotted on several stalls, and which I didn’t get a photo of, but these stunning poppies disappeared pretty quickly too.
The best thing about any plant fair is the wealth of specialist knowledge available. From carnivorous pitcher plants to cabbage seedlings and a wide variety of shrubs, perennials, herbs and grasses. I bought a black iris from this nursery and a lemon scented pelagonium from another.
I was surprised the first time that I came to a plant fair how reasonable the prices were too, another benefit of independent nurseries. There is an independent plant nurseries guide if you want to find your nearest.
Also on offer, garden accessories especially decorative iron work.
These wonky photos really don’t do it justice but designs and bespoke orders by Kev Colbear Design .
Always a pleasure to visit, the gardens are still set out as described in my earlier blog Spring Plant Fair at Helmingham Hall(2016). There are new graphic information cards, by Helmingham gardener Chris Reeve, for when that plant name on the tip of your tongue won’t reach your brain.
Several waves of alliums, peonies and roses just coming out, I always find Helmingham a comfortable garden to visit. Obviously the long borders, vegetable patches and topiary are on a grand scale but the sight of flowers past their best and the odd weed is very reassuring.
Lots of early roses and tree peonies, irises, Thallitricum and herbaceous peonies.
After a nice walk, following the moat around the house, wondering which bedroom the Queen sleeps in, you get to the knot garden on the other side. Surrounded by hedges and filled with herbs, it has a more intimate feel. Lots of hebaceous geraniums and roses coming into bloom.