Fri 20 Apr 2012
We were very grateful to those who kindly agreed to open their gardens for those with their own transport and who were able to extend their stay either side of the weekend. A brief description of the gardens follows. If you are in our area it would be a great pleasure to provide introductions for garden visits locally.
Burford Hurry has been gardening in the Algarve for 23 years and comes from an African background where heat, drought and cold are not uncommon factors in gardening. MGS members will have read Burford’s article in the April 2009 Journal. His uniquely wonderful garden is on a steeply sloping site alongside an all year round waterfall, tucked away from the bustle of the town. There are succulents in pots on the different terraced levels and many unusual shrubs.
Renata & Ralph Poehner´s beautiful garden reflects their interest in flowers. The garden has been established for several years now. It is on limestone and clay and very rocky but the soil has been improved over the years with the addition of organic food. The main feature of this large garden is its wonderful collection of different roses and interesting shrubs and creepers grown over the years by a loving and skilful gardener. It also has a large fish pond set in the minimum of lawn. Another feature is the very large wild area where there is a natural meadow and olive trees.
Margaret Jackson’s dedicated interest in her garden is demonstrated by the sympathetic use of many rare plants alongside native and others more familiar. This is a special opportunity to see a well designed garden with a definite bias towards plantsmanship. Her garden is a lesson in how to use stone, rock and gravel to create texture and interest with carefully selected plants to provide the all important living elements. . Margaret recently won the ‘Garden of the Year’ award in the competition organised by local garden clubs.
Vivian Hirst is a very experienced garden designer. It is a rare treat to see a garden which has matured under the knowledgeable guiding hand of a discerning designer. This property of 11,000 sq m was bought in the 1980´s. It had a shepherd´s cottage which is now a lovely guesthouse. There are many lessons on use of spaces, and choosing planting appropriate to the conditions. This garden has a wonderful peaceful atmosphere, the use of sun and shade being particularly telling. Vivian has lived and gardened in the Canary Islands and Costa Rica, this gives her a unique insight into using a wide range of planting. We visited this garden in June 2010 and again in November 2011 when we focussed on the many Australian plants in the garden.
Jan & Nigel Chapman have two acres of beautiful grounds, consisting of natural terrain and partly-landscaped gardens, with oleanders, hibiscus, agaves and palms, plus olive, carob and almond trees with many artistic touches from its caring owners. This garden recently won an award for the ‘Most Wildlife Friendly’ garden. It has also featured in an article on life without a lawn !
Rob & Rosie Peddle´s four acre garden and wild areas, a combination of desperate planting and lazy neglect provides an insight into what nature will do if you leave it well alone. Oh, and we also have a fabulously wonderful natural swimming pond. At the moment the cistus, phlomis and lavenders are flowering in competition with our very smelly jasmine. The afternoon ended here with tea and cake on the terrace. A great way to talk over the first Spring Conference weekend and think about next year …..