The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Lilac Squirrel

I thought that title might catch your eye!! More on the squirrel later, I'm continuing my visit to the Tatton Park Flower Show last week. I spent a full day there with my friend Tracy on the first day, its members day that day so seemed a little bit quieter. We had a good look round all the gardens as described in my previous post. We also looked round the Floral Marquee, I think I have got a bit blase about the displays in the marquee recently, if you go to a lot of the shows then you will notice that many nursery's display are the same every time. I remember my excitement at seeing these displays the first time I went to a flower show but I think I often just skim by many of them now, especially the ones that display only one type of plant. I'm never that keen on the big Begonia's with flowers the size of dinner plates and in colours that hurt your eyes. Though actually I might be a bit biased there as I love the display of South African Disa orchids by Dave Parkinson plants and you definitely need sunglasses here.
Fuchsia's also don't really catch my eye, and I'm not a big fan of the big displays of Chrysanthemums. The vegetable stands, such as that of Robinsons, though often similar each year, always attract my attention as there are often new varieties to try and I like a browse through the seeds. I love the displays by the Alpine plant growers, such meticulous and perfect combinations of mini plants, that always needs close attention. Some displays attract your attention from a distance with wafts of scent that get your nose twitching and looking round for the source of the perfume. This often happens with the glorious lily displays or the delicate sprays of Sweet peas. However by far I prefer the mixed displays, this year there was a stunning display of different climbing plants, by Tynings plants, great for ideas to give height in the garden. There was a mix of tender and hardy climbers. The herb displays such as that by Hookgreen Herbs are a verdant calming space to rest your eyes. For new varieties the perennial nursery's hit the spot. Hardy's Cottage Garden plants and  Cath's Garden Plants are always a must for the plantaholic. But I was interested to read in The Garden magazine in July that there was a project to help growers exhibit to win gold medals. It encouraged a change from the more traditional displays to a contemporary style. I think this was really refreshing and it was definitely noticeable and created some new displays in the Marquee. One example is the display by Letham Plants which specialises in Astrantia.
I'm definitely all for nurseries making some changes to their displays to invigorate the Floral Marquee. Wish I'd taken more photos now!
I spent the day on the Friday experiencing at first hand the enthusiasm and passion of the visitors to the show, by helping Sue Beesley on her stand for Bluebell Cottage Nursery in the Marquee. It was such a joy chatting to very knowledgeable gardeners about plants and helping more novice gardeners on whether the plant they had their eye on was really suitable for their gardens. It was certainly full on especially as it rained in the afternoon, which brought bigger crowds into the Marquee. Now to the title of this post, the plant of the day for the nursery was Sanguisorba 'Lilac Squirrel' we were continually restocking this. If you don't know what it looks like, here you are.
It dangles and swings in the air and the bright colour attracts the eye and once one person had one, you could see others looking and asking about it.
Sue is specialising in one of my favourite plants the Thalictrums, she has some gorgeous ones.
 But this is the real beauty. Thalictrum diffusiflorum
A tiring day but a really great experience.


  1. It's good to see that you enjoyed yourself, which isn't surprising. The lilac squirrels are certainly eye-catching. Flighty xx

  2. The nursery stands are the part that I like best at shows although I am often disappointed that they don't have for sale the things that I like best on the stands.

  3. I did enjoy these last two posts and seeing everything through your many beautiful displays, ideas and plants. I have never been, I must remedy that! Thanks for sharing your experience!xxx