There are different types of gardens we can visit, those belonging to friends and family, gardens opened on occasions through the National Garden Scheme, National Trust Gardens and then we have small private gardens opened perhaps only once a year for events such as the Henfield Gardens and Arts Weekend.
I first visited the Henfield Gardens about 3 years ago and was impressed, leaving with some great ideas. These are ordinary gardens, not huge, some are really very small, but are all proudly shown off to the public.
Having waxed lyrical about the Henfield Gardens , I persuaded a friend to come with me last Sunday. We didn’t visit all 32 gardens and some were only opened on the Saturday. It is always a problem when reality doesn’t match up with expectation. Maybe we were unlucky, but in general the majority of the gardens we did visit, I found disappointing. Most were full of tables and chairs and people eating, I began to wonder if it was an open gardens or a food event. When I visit a garden, I want to be able to wander around spying out new plants and different planting ideas, not negotiate the eating public. One garden was impossible to walk around, with people sitting on the ground, in picnic fashion, eating barbecued burgers, so we departed quickly. Were they there for the food or were they actually interested in viewing gardens?
Having said that, there were a few that were worth spending a little time in and I came away with a short list of “Must Have” plants such as:
- ROSA MUNDI
- CERINTHE MAJOR ‘PURPURASCENS