Friday, June 22, 2012

Furzey Show Garden by Chris Beardshaw

I loved the Furzey garden, in real life in the New Forest Furzey is part of the Minstead training project for people with learning disabilities and their horticultural section helped with growing plants for this garden .I think this looks as if it has been plucked straight out of the Northwest. OK, I haven't seen any thatch around the PNW. Just in case you are interested, don't get thatch if you are afraid of spiders. I spent a glorious summer living in a thatch cottage with the only downside being the size of the spiders, the description of 'big and hairy' doesn't do them justice. Back to the garden; here is a better view of the planting
It's just so lush and green and there are Rhododendron's!! Probably not seen in a RHS gold medal winning garden since the 70's. Are the RHS judges getting less stuffy? Were there horrified onlookers muttering"what next, Gnomes?".  All this is contextual, I inwardly shudder when I see a rhododendron, with a neat little line of french marigolds and the newfangled variety of petunia, probably with a sick looking conifer chucked in for good measure. Before you say, middle class snob, I have all of those growing in my garden....and actually if I had the space I would plant a garden with all of those plants and a bad gnome (yes,I think there are classes of gnome) and maybe even a pink flamingo to get me over my inhibitions and taste prejudices. For anybody who is English reading this, rhodies and conifers are native in the PNW and grow happily together with a mix of other plants.  But, the plantings in the Furzey gardens made me think of a recent trip to Bloedell:

....and I want that thatch building, our workshop would look just gorgeous thatched. Inside there was stained glass made with R.macabeanum leaves, I only saw it in a photograph, but it must look magical.  The garden also had fairy doors on the trees, I hope I have fairies at the bottom of my garden, doesn't everyone?

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