maturity

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We have been visiting the RHS garden, Rosemoor, regularly for the last 20 years. Ever since it first opened to the public in 1990, in fact, and  it has been a pleasure watching it grow towards maturity. The garden was gifted to the RHS by Lady Anne Palmer and part of the gift included a beautiful house and the garden Lady Anne had already established  containing more than 4000 plants, many collected by her. The new formal garden has been created in what was pastureland, on a slope, in an area of heavy rain, on heavy clay and bisected by the A3124.

The site, whilst suffering from the clay and the rain and incidentally, also being in a frost pocket, has a beautiful setting in a wooded valley. And I think it is a triumph over the difficulties of the site. I know there has been a decent budget here, but the designers and plantsmen have created a garden that is for all seasons and if you haven’t visited-I recommend adding it to your must do list for next year. Careful placement of the plants in the landscape and in the hard  landscaping has resulted in some stunning combinations, at whatever season you visit. Three cheers for designers and gardeners who created and maintain this place.

I want to mention  that this is a post also inspired by Emma’s plea for pictures of colour, made on her blog here. These are part of my contribution for November-possibly my least favourite month.

using your voice

It was a gorgeous blue and gold afternoon here.

This is one of the Norway Maples that grow near my house, doing its magnificent autumn thing, whilst showering a bazillion seeds onto my garden which will attempt garden domination next spring. I was outside spotting bees, in an attempt to log my final sightings for the year. I did find a Carder bee basking on the back wall, together with one odd hoverfly.  A couple of dopey wasps were munching on the apples on my Golden Delicious tree. Little activity, but still some late hymenopterans. I am hoping to spot the  Ivy bee, Colletes hederae, the last of the solitary bees to emerge and likely to be found on ivy flowers into mid November, but I have so far failed.

In the course of my bee hunting I noticed how pretty the Michaelmas daisy flowers still are. I added to my collection on Monday after a visit with VP to the Botanic Nursery where they hold a good collection of the plants. On Monday morning they were covered in frost, but still holding their heads high.  It is good to have something that performs well at this stage of the season.

One of several interesting natural history stories that has caught my attention this week has been the UK government’s launch of a Natural Environment White Paper discussion document to ask for your views on nature. You can read about it here and take part on line on the DEFRA website here.

The survey takes the form of 4 short questions, which could result in 4 short or 4 very long answers, depending on your enthusiasm and point of view. It may be lip service, but it is an attempt  at engaging in a dialogue about the environment. If you are interested, please note that the closing date for replies is Saturday 30th October. I have given them my two penny worth.