Sunday, 24 January 2010
The Blog Post Formerly Known As ......
'Take A Walk On The Wildside' but Arabella Sock beat me to it with the title! I started this post some months ago after visiting Wildside in August 2009. I faffed about trying to decide which photos to include as I took so many, that the post went on the back burner. Arabella's post came and went and still I faffed. Recently Rosthchild Orchid posed the question where should she go on her garden odyssey ? Without hesitation I suggested Wildside, at the same time deciding that I must stop dallying and write about our visit to this exhilarating garden.
We visited the garden at the end of the first week of August on way home from France. After embarking from the cross channel ferry at Plymouth in previous years, I have persuaded himself that our campervan must steer itself homeward bound via The Garden House in Buckland Monachorum, Devon some ten miles or so from Plymouth. However I had read that Keith Wiley, the former gardener at The Garden House had moved on and had been creating his own garden and nursery at Wildside, some short distance from from the Garden House. Oh joy of joys as luck would have it we got back to England on a Thursday, which last year was the only day that Wildside opened to the public! So once we had escaped from Plymouth we headed for the moors, circumnavigating (me with heart in mouth) the odd few wandering wild ponies and then on to Wildside. Above the noisy diesel engine that propels our van I was aware of himself muttering away that as usual that any garden/nursery I want to visit is in the back of beyond and takes some finding. All part of the experience I tell him.
Needless to say we reached our destination and off we went into the garden. Whilst walking around we found out when talking to other visitors that the garden had very recently featured in a national newspaper. The article which you can read here describes how a former cider orchard was turned into a garden and explains the inspiration behind its development and the naturalistic plantings. I will let the photos do the talking and do hope that you click on them to see the planting in more detail ~
Down by the water ~
It was a muggy and grey afternoon in the main but from time to time the clouds rolled back and we were treated to some glimpses of blue ~
There was also an excellent nursery at Wildside stocking many of the plants which were growing in the garden. A small exhibition of paintings by Keith's wife Ros was on display. There were also copies of Keith's books 'Shade: Planting Solutions For Shady Gardens' and 'On The Wildside: Experiments In New Naturalism' for sale. Another visitor was purchasing one of the books was asked if she would like a signed copy. She was told that although Keith was out in the garden on his mini-digger, that he would be more than happy to be disturbed to sign the book. Yes this is a garden that is still in the making. I would dearly like to return one day perhaps at a different time of year. In the meantime I am looking forward to seeing more glimpses of Wildside, when it is featured on 'Landscape Man' - a Channel 4 series due to be screened later this year. Meanwhile if you find yourself near Plymouth and the garden is open be sure to take a walk on the wildside!