Garden Tours

 

I visited a garden today – in Cornwall, England.

https://ngs.org.uk/carminowe-valley-garden-cornwall-a-garden-worth-exploring/

Absolutely beautiful! 🌸

And then I popped into one in Derbyshire later on.    

https://ngs.org.uk/the-smithy-derbyshire-a-hidden-treasure/

Charming. 😃

How did I do that, you may ask? Do I have a private jet? A helicopter? Can I beam myself from Bavaria to England? (Wish I could!)

No, I looked at NGS charity website and clicked on the button for Virtual Garden Visits.

https://ngs.org.uk/virtual-garden-visits/

When it became clear that the NGS (National Garden Scheme) gardens would be unable to open their gates to the public in spring in order to raise money for the nurses they support, the charity decided to share some virtual garden tours on their website instead. At the peak of the lockdown this was such a wonderful way to while away a few hours and escape reality, viewing some enchanting gardens all across Britain.

Mum‘s Pink Poppy

Well, with some of the restrictions being lifted in the UK, most of the gardens are now open at last, albeit with the booking of time slots as a requirement. Details of the gardens are up-to-date on the website and booking a time slot can be done online too. It‘s really easy.

Californian Poppies

If you can‘t visit one yourself, or there isn‘t one near you, do take a look at some of the virtual tours instead. And perhaps you might consider making a small donation while you are on the website? The charity has almost reached its target of £100,000  for its Help Support our Nurses campaign launched in April. Every little helps.

And here is a mini tour of my own garden in Bavaria as it stands so far. 😃

xxx

 

Some Tuesday Views

Monday was a bank holiday here (Whit Monday) and I paid my old garden a visit. So strictly speaking this is a Monday View on a Tuesday!

Anyway, for long-term readers of my blog you may recognize the Tuesday Views I used to show over the past few years….

First the south side of The Rockery…

The Centranthus is perhaps the main highlight, and as always is attracting the Hummingbird Hawk-Moths…

If you can grow it, do! The pollinators adore it and if it pops up in the wrong place it can easily be pulled up – provided you don’t wait too long and it gets established. One year I pulled out so much I was worried it wouldn’t come back. But within two years it was as rampant as ever!

The yellow Lysimachia seems to be taking over again on the south-west side of the rockery, but rough treatment seems to keep it in check. Note: if you want to plant Lysimachia it can be grown in a very hot dry spot without spreading too much. Otherwise, my advice is to avoid it!

The poppies are fabulous. And I now have three pink ones after fearing I had lost them all. (Most of them are orangey red). I must mark which ones are pink and leave the seed heads to ripen so I can collect seed to sow in the late summer. The pink aquilegia in the photo below is my favourite ever – when I bought it it was helpfully labelled ‘Aquilegia’. 😉

The peonies have suffered for the second year in a row from a hot and dry spring and have produced plenty of buds, but many are dried up and will not open. Still, there are more than enough to add white and pink highlights here and there.

Looking up the south-west slope you can see the Acer (which caught a late frost mid-May and sent out new leaves!) and the gorgeous lime green Euphorbia seguieriana.

I have planted some rather small ones in the new garden and it was good to see how this plant has grown so big in just a few years.

I was a few days too late to see my long-awaited yellow ‘Shining Light’ Itoh Peony flower… plans to visit last week were foiled by car trouble! Never mind. It will be carefully removed in autumn and given a prime position in the new garden. 🙂

The Shade Bed on the north side of the house has filled out beautifully – a lot of Geraniums have self-seeded and the Hakonechloa loves it there. In June and July part of the bed gets midday sun for a couple of hours and late evening sun too, but for the rest of the year it is humid and shady here.

The Hosta leaves are still intact! Sadly the slugs will soon start to discover them and the flowers usually get blackfly too due to the humidity. (The woods are just a few metres away).

Well, I have just realized it is now past midnight so it was a Tuesday View post, photographed on Monday and published on Wednesday! Still, hope you enjoyed it whatever day it was!

Have a lovely week!

The Nepal Himalaya Park Revisited

In early July I returned to the Himalaya Garden near Regensburg, which I posted about here, but this time with my sister. It was very sunny, but the bright sunshine didn’t detract from the planting at all. As I mentioned in my last post about it, this is not a show garden, but more a plant lover’s playground. And yet some of the combinations were stunning! These Foxtail Lilies for example, with golden green Euphorbia and golden grasses…

The blues, silvers and golds all melded together too: here Eryngium with more grasses…

And here Eryngium, Lavender and Melica ciliata…

I particularly like this part of the garden, set in a former stone quarry on a well-drained south-facing slope…

We both enjoyed the amazing and unusual selection of plants and trees, some of which remain unidentified. Can anyone help us identify this tall flower in the foreground below, with large silvery leaves?

And those green ‘umbrella’ style plants on the right seem familiar too… now what are they!

I know I can count on my wise and curious plant-loving readers for help! 😉

The Nepal Himalaya Park

Last week we had a bank holiday here in Bavaria – Ascension Day. This meant that an ideal spot for meeting up with friends would be open… the Nepal Himalaya Park near Regensburg.

I have never visited a garden in Germany that captivated me quite like this one! It is most certainly not a traditional ‘show garden’, where plants are placed for effect and labelled with care. No, this was more of a plant fanatic’s paradise, a playground for the owner of the park to see what he can grow, with a mostly oriental theme; a little chaotic, quite wild in places, but absolutely charming in my eyes!

The Nepal Himalaya Pavillon

Photo from the Pavillon website: http://www.nepal-himalaya-pavillon.de

The garden is set into a south-facing hillside in part of a former quarry, and the main ‘attraction’ which inspired it is the Himalaya Pavillon. This temple was actually the Nepalese exhibit at the Expo 2000 in Hanover. It was painstakingly dismantled and rebuilt here in its new home. The garden then arose around it a few years later, so is still relatively young.

My photos are not brilliant as I used my mobile phone, but I think you can get the idea of what the temple looks like surrounded by enormous trees, rhododendrons and azaleas.

I was so pleasantly surprised when I walked through the gate, as it was not at all what I had expected. Along with the traditional perennials, native wild flowers and many herbs there were a lot of unusual plants unknown to me, which I had to look up when I got home. So if you see I have made a mistake, please feel free to correct me!

Only recently I had looked up Amsonia, when Jason from Garden in a City mentioned them. Then there they were – the first flower I laid my eyes on and the first time I had seen one.

Amsonia illustris

I found the foliage particularly striking.

As we walked down a slope past a pond, I noticed Anthericum everywhere, along with patches of blue Corydalis and various Euphorbias.

This plant kept popping up too… I believe it is a type of Echium, although I personally only know the blue sort that grows by the roadsides here.

Echium amoenum

The Japanese garden didn’t do much for me, but as we passed that we came to a shadier area where hostas and ferns were thriving…

I wonder if anyone can tell me what the tall plant is between the yellow irises and poppies… It looks kind of familiar.

Along the way there were small temples, bells and a prayer wheel – all original pieces shipped from Nepal. But I was focussed on the plants!

Lilac

The newest part of the garden is the Chinese Garden – it is very wild, overrun with native wild flowers, but still managing to make quite an impact with the wooden bridges and gateways placed at intervals and the setting itself in the rockiest part of the old quarry is fairly dramatic…

Finally, the plant of the day: Lupins!

On our way home we noticed blue ones growing by the roadsides – something we don’t see in our valley at home.

The website is unfortunately all in German, but there is a virtual tour of the garden here, navigable without any language.

And should you ever visit this part of the world, I would definitely recommend this to serious plant lovers! What kind of gardens do you like to visit best – wild and weedy or formal and tidy? 😉