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The British Conifer Society AGM meeting was held at Reed Hall situated on Streatham Campus at the University of Exeter. The campus grounds are a registered botanic garden and probably contain one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs anywhere in Somerset. Some of the original plantings were undertaken by Veitches and date back some 150 years or so.
I have to admit it wasn’t until the last half hour of the visit and the light was fading fast, I suddenly realized that a few pics thrown together might have the makings for a slightly interesting blog. I would certainly recommend that if you find yourself down Exeter way with a couple of hours to spare the gardens are certainly well worth a visit.

Colletia cruciata, also known as Colletia paradoxa, and very new to me, this shrub was the first thing to grab my attention on arrival down by the main car park, very unusual cactus like with very small sweetly scented white flowers, originates from South America and only suitable for milder areas of the UK. Unfortunately my close-up shots were out of focus, so I re-did one of a little piece I took home – naughty I know! Certainly a plant on my wanted list.

Cornus kousa, detail of fruit and leaves, couldn’t tell if this was one of the many cultivars or not or just the straight species.

Part of the immediate gardens situated around Reed Hall, and although you can’t see from these pictures there are fairly good views a bit further forward from this point down to the city.

The aluminium tag on this tree just said sylvatica, as the rest of it had been swallowed up by the trunk. So probably safe to say this is Nyssa sylvatica, and wasn’t really looking too happy in its location.

Lynne, my partner in crime, and standing next to the trunk and lower branches of a Cedrus deodara to give it some scale. One of the largest specimens for this species I have personally seen.

Vitis coignetiae, including detail of foliage, and a really fine example of one of my favourite plants for training onto walls – if you have the room!

detail of fruits from a very mature Taxus baccata.

As this was a British Conifer Society AGM get together, I thought I would finish off with a couple of shots of peeps also passionate about conifers, just to show I’m not the only fanatic out there.
First photo shows Mike Murphy on the left, who is what we refer to as one of the old school conifer collectors. to the right is Derek Spicer, ex chairman of the society and proprietor of Kilworth Conifers.
Second photo is Dr Richard Ryder, current chairman for the society.

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Great blog thanks for the pics.

18 Oct, 2009


It's always worth taking a few snaps Bluespruce...the gardens & hall look lovely. Is the 3rd last pic a type of yew?

18 Oct, 2009


Very interesting blog. Thank you :)

18 Oct, 2009


Well! Now I know - I shall have to visit there one day. Are the gardens open frequently? I go to a Nursery near Exeter sometimes, so I could 'drop in' if they are!

18 Oct, 2009


Fluff - yes, correct the Taxus baccata is a yew.

Barbara - I can't be absolutely sure, but I doubt there are any restrictions to visiting the gardens as they are spread over some three hundred acres including parkland and woodland with public roads and access running all through them.
How far are you from Exeter Barbara ?

18 Oct, 2009


Another good blog I enjoyed.

19 Oct, 2009


Thanks Hywel, you seem to be one of the few :o)

19 Oct, 2009


I always enjoy your blogs :o)

19 Oct, 2009


Plant larceny is a time-honored tradition among plantaholics, altho my best friend wouldn't speak to me for weeks after I nipped a tiny tiny piece of something! I'm glad you pinched a piece of Colletia paradoxa which is really unusual. Hope you can grow it (tender to 20-25 degrees, it says online)

20 Oct, 2009


I don't exactly know in miles, Bluespruce, but it takes me 1hr 20 mins to the Nursery outside Exeter....we do have the M5 junction about 10 miles from here, so easy after that.

20 Oct, 2009


I will certainly give it a go Orgratis, and if the cuttings don't root, I will definitely buy one.

21 Oct, 2009

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