Thursday, June 10, 2010

Surrey Gardens

Tuesday 8 June: Drove off to Esher at dawn's crack in pouring rain to pick up Peter for our tour of Surrey gardens and houses created by Jekyll and Lutyens. The main attraction was Munstead Wood, star of Jekyll's Home and Garden. The famous 3 bedroomed 'hut' is now a private home sadly, but it was fascinating to see inside Munstead Wood - Like Vanessa Bell Jekyll was an adorner of her own dwellings, an amazing craftswoman. Wrought iron window and door latches; overmantel plasterwork, motherofpearls in lay on doors, a charmign wooden cellar door.

Woodlands rich in Rhododendrons and azaleas - and amazing Himalayan lilies.

White foxglove everywhere - nb put my seedlings out in the rose bed when they are sturdier
I have forgotten name of everywhere ground cover which I have a couple of roots of - perhaps epimedia? Will try it out under the gumtree.

Perhaps most stunning and interesting for ideas was The Quadrangle - once the working heart of the garden, with steps leading up to seed room and places for horses and carts behind - Jekyll acquired a lovely barn and had it put there. Gail a real plantswoman with lots of ideas to be copied.
Garland - a lovely climbing rose
Miss Willmott's Ghost - Erygnium - mad grey/white thistle - a must have plant; I have ordered two.
Epimedia [ I think] great ground cover in dry place
Chase up Golden Hop
Get lots of scented geraniums
Anemone Rose

Catching up

After a gentle reproach from a follower of this blog,  I wrote a long catch up post after not writing anything since February, but I think I must have published it and quit while offline, as it has all disappeared. Not a tragedy on the level of Carlyle's discovery that his book on the French Revolution had been used as kindling, but disconcerting. Moral is write little and often perhaps.
Much gardening and grandmothering has happened, and I have achieved a longfelt desire to live in a house with pink roses around the front door, reviewed countless audiobooks and risen to the challenge of deciding what the best of the year were, and made slow progress on Alice - perhaps it is a mistake to carve it into history mystery mode rather than straight fictional life. Most fun seeing the finished Pleasures of the Garden.
my audiobook anthology of great writings on gardens and gardening. All had to be out of copyright, but Genesis to Jekyll offered a good deal of scope. Great to hear that Wisley, high temple of the Royal Horticultural Society have ordered more copies.
Dulcibella, my camping punt, is now looking utterly beautiful; today Alan, artist-in-residence at Oxford Cruisers was inscribing her name in floriferous characters along her sides. Graham is planning to put her in the next day or so to take up [which will mean sinking down], then will attach the fittings once she floats again. I need to finish off the bottom boards - nearly there, and arguably enough done, but one more coat would be worth it I think.
Had a splendid anglo-Norwegian croquet match at Colin and Prue Reynolds' Rose Island a few weeks ago, and at last saw the lazy-susie arrangement on which their doll's house revolves. We have developed a much simpler idea: I got a solid as a rock round table from Kings of Bicester, recycled Thai wheel by the look of it, and following up and idea of Ian's, Brian and I have put four domes of silence castors under the (extremely heavy) house. Tomorrow Brian will make a deep hole in the centre of the table and put a massive steel bolt to prevent it form slipping sideways as it revolves. Very exciting.
Sailing at West Oxfordshire proving most enjoyable - people are so friendly and the Moth is outstanding in the current very light winds; will be interesting to see what happens when it blows harder.