Sunshine and Showers at Parham’s Garden Weekend

This year was the 19th annual garden weekend at Parham House and Garden near Pulborough in West Sussex.  I went along this morning, Sunday, on the second day with my two pals, Kate and Shan.   We arrived with boots and waterproofs, ready for whatever the weather was going to throw at us.    When the sun broke through the clouds, on occasions, it was really quite warm so our coats were on and off like yoyos.

We arrived at 10:30, when it opened, and were marshalled to the car park in a field at the top of the hill presumably with the hope cars would be less likely to get bogged down, although it was very muddy and slippery.

There were over 50 specialist nurseries and horticultural business, with a great choice of plants to buy.

I think because of the unpredictable weather and the fact that today was also the British Grand Prix and the Men’s final at Wimbledon, there were not the crowds of people that Kate and Shan had seen in previous years.    It did mean that we had plenty of room to wander around the stalls, earmark plants we would like to buy and discover new and interesting plants.   We particularly liked the Thalictrum Delavayi, a pretty tall herbaceous perennial and very ornamental.

There were a lot of Heucheras on all the stalls.   Some of the names of the Heuchera were delightful, such as Marmalade,  Berry Smoothie, Gypsy Dancer and Ginger Ale.   I didn’t buy any Heuchera, but wish now I had done.   Perhaps I will take a review of the garden at the end of the summer and plan a special bed for a display of various coloured Heuchera.

Kate and Shan each bought a small Albizia Julibrissen, known as a Silk Tree.  I had never seen one before and not only does it have a pretty, unusual flower, the leaves close up at night time.

One of the many interesting stalls was that of Plant Heritage formerly known as the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens (NCCPG).  There was a display of Ginger Plants Hedychium.  Although they smell like ginger and the rhizomes look like root ginger they are not used for culinary purposes.

Mindful of the time, and that we wanted to be back by 2:00 p.m. for the Wimbledon Men’s Final, we couldn’t leave Parham without a quick look at the garden.   It is a garden that needs time to wander and I will certainly re-visit it again very soon.   What struck us was how very lush the borders looked, usually at this time of the year they are beginning to look a little dry and in need of watering.

Just as we were heading back to the car the skies just opened and it hammered down, bouncing off the pavements and lying in puddles on the grass.

What did I buy?   There was only one stall that was selling a plant on my ‘Must Have’ list  and that is Cerinthe.   I also bought a Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and Penstemon ‘Garnet’.

Now all I need is for a break in the showers and time to chose the ideal location as a new home for my purchases.

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15 thoughts on “Sunshine and Showers at Parham’s Garden Weekend

  1. Hi Ronnie, I was just up the road from you at West Dean gardens at 10.30 on Sunday! If I’d known about the fair at Parham we would have gone to that (as lovely as West Dean was). I’m a big fan of Parham – ever since looking down on it while walking the South Downs Way. I particularly like the fact that it isn’t National Trust. Nothing wrong with the NT but their gardens can all get to look a little samey, I feel. Dave


  2. I really like the thalictrum and think I have just the spot. We saw the signs for the Parham even on our way to Washington but like you wanted to get back for the mens final.


  3. Hi Ronnie,

    Oooooh, so many plants I would’ve wanted to buy – only I no longer have the space to do so! Oh well, maybe it’s time to buy a new house and start over! 😉

    I’m glad to see you got your ‘hot lips’ and look forward to seeing more photos in future.


    1. I was pleased to get Hot Lips too, I just hope now the snails are not to excited when I plant it! I could have spent a lot of money and am glad, if not a little frustrated, that I only took a small amount with me. Next weekend I will then have to stand and view the garden hard to decide where to plant my lovely new plants, like you I am running out of space.


    1. It was the first time I have been and, yes, it was a lot bigger than I had imagined. Such as shame it was not as well attended today, I think the weather put a lot of people off.


  4. Cerinthe’s are great plants, you shouldn’t ever have to buy another! I tried ginger lilies a few years ago but couldn’t get them through winter 😦


    1. I first saw Cerinthe about a month ago at the Henfield Open Gardens and earmarked it then for a must have plant. Now I have to find the best place for it to grow and keep growing year on year.


        1. Thats good to know, the nursery guy was on about collecting the seeds annually and re sowing them. I may do that anyway just in case it doesnt self seed, some plants behave in a funny way in my garden and those that self seed for friends are never seen again in my patch.


    1. It was fortunate that we had decided to leave in time to watch Wimbledon otherwise would have spent a lot of money between us and I certainly would have come away with a thalictrum.


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