We enjoyed a spectacular day on Sunday in the garden. The open garden at Bickleigh Vale allowed us to share the magic of this beautiful village with like minded souls interested in gardening, architecture, and the history of Edna Walling.
“The inhabitants of Bickleigh Vale will always have the gratifying knowledge that future neighbours will not spoil their surroundings, but will all be taking part in the creation of a beautiful landscape picture in which each villager will live a secluded and peaceful life.” Edna Walling.
The open garden was certainly a chance to step back and remind ourselves how lucky we are to live here and have our children grow up in such a beautiful, free and creative environment. It was also a chance to connect and chat with fellow gardeners and below I have tried to answer a few of the questions regarding plants and trees that were asked on the day.
The white bulbs blooming under the cherry blossom are sparaxis.
The tricolour sparaxis were very popular even if they were a week beyond their best. The bulbs I had saved from last year were all gone by lunchtime but we will collect more as the leaves die back. They are a prolific self seeder and in a large space I enjoy their wandering habit. Particularly as they look stunning as a drift of colour in spring.
Our massive evergreen Holm or Holly Oak (Quercus Ilex) to the west of the house, or background of this picture on the right, demanded some attention. It is a native to the Mediterranean and coincidently the first Holly Oaks to be planted in England can still be found growing in Mamhead, Devon, not far from where Edna Walling spent her formative childhood years.
And finally to comment on our beautiful oak in new leaf at the north western corner of The Barn. It quite likely is an Algerian Oak (Quercus canariensis) as it is semi-deciduous, only losing its last leaves as the new seasons growth is emerging. It is certainly a beauty with its vivid green new leaves at the moment and a perfect shield for the children’s cubby house and some faraway tree activity below.
And as a final note our catering and plant/card/preserve sales on the day raised around $1200 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation so thank-you for your support and for enjoying some delicious food and fine fare at the Barn. Thank you to our band of talented and merry helpers on the day.
The timing of Open Garden this weekend will see many different plants on show compared with our last garden opening two years ago. The amelanchiers are all in flower and as they typically remain in bloom for about a week this is no mean feat. They are a stunning example of Edna’s repeated planting throughout the village with many gardens enjoying their soft fragility. The bluebells are still blooming and the sparaxis bulbs in drifts are hanging in there but sadly not as spectacular as they were last weekend. To replace them the wisteria is looking stunning, the hawthorns and dogwoods are just about to flower and the vibrant green new leaves of the silver birches and malus ioensis crab apples are filling up the gaps in the garden.rn"