The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Rare plants and how to find some!

55 comments


I was given a leaflet a while ago – and it listed Rare Plant Fairs for the year. I haven’t been to one before – I have now!

This one was at Wells Cathedral – well, the Bishop’s Palace.

Here’s Wells High Street, leading to the Cathedral…

I approve of the beautiful flower arrangements down the High Street!

The Plant Fair was just through the gateway into the Bishop’s Palace, amongst the ruins of the Great Hall.

It cost me £4 to get in – but there were 20 Nurseries there.

That’s a promising sight!

More Nursery Stands over there!

On the first stand – a beautiful tulip with variegated leaves.

And just take a look at this one!

My main problem was that I had to park some distance from the Cathedral, so I had to trek down the High Street with my purchases twice! In between, I had a walk round the gardens. There are sculptures strategically placed in the beds and along the walls, but not much to see in the gardens yet.

This one in polished steel is a reminder of the famous swans on the moat, that come and ring a bell when they want feeding!

So what did I buy? I was delighted that a Cornish Nursery had brought me two Clematis viticellas following a phone call to them. I now own C. viticella, and C. vit. ‘Caerula Luxurians’ – this is one of the beauties that Karensusan showed us in her garden – it went straight on my wish-list!

I’ll show you a few of my other purchases.

Hacquetia epipactis

Ornithogalum balansae

Chionodoxa lucilae ‘Pink Giant’

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’

Cardamine glandulifera

Lunaria rediviva ‘Corfu Blue’

I also found that one Nursery was selling packets of seeds – and lo and behold, they had the white variegated Lunaria I’ve been after!

So was it worth going to a ‘Rare Plant Fair’?

A resounding YES from me!

Just so that you know – there will be another 13 Fairs this year – they’re at:

Syon House, London
Brackley, Northants
Queninngton, Gloucestershire
Bledlow, Princes Risborough
Inner Temple Gardens, London
Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire
Lydart, Monmouth
Castle Bromwich, Birmingham
Basingstoke, Hampshire
Newport, South Wales
Chelwood, Avon
Blagdon, N. Somerset
Llanover, Abervagenny.

If anyone wants any more details, do please contact me.

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Snowdrops do spread!

Next post: A Rescue Mission!



Comments

 

Hi , I guess as these are rare plants that they will require special growing conditions? Think I had better stick to the traditional ones, I have all on keeping them going sometimes! I bought a meconopsis (blue, probably my rarest plant) a couple of years ago and it seemed to be doing well and had 2 flowers on it last year, but I fear it is no more...do you think this harsh winter will have killed it off? It is planted in a protected area and I covered it with straw as well :-(

28 Mar, 2010

 

Hi Spritz, look like you had agreat day, please can you tell me where in Blagdon, it will be held, thankyou.x

28 Mar, 2010

 

nice trip out for you Barbara,looks lovely, inteligent swans them thats what o h does lol,, you did buy a lot...happy planting When you can ...:o)

28 Mar, 2010

 

Andrea, many meconopsis are monocarpic - they die after flowering. Did you collect any of the seed? At least it wasn't anything you or the weather did.
Spritz - I might have known the sellers would have no stock left after you blazed your way through, lol. What wonderful fun you had!

28 Mar, 2010

 

Lovely to share this with you . . . I wish we'd gone then instead of in February ! : o ( (

28 Mar, 2010

 

I love these Rare Plant Fairs. Sadly, the one near here at Syon House is on Easter Sunday when I'm away.

Andrea - if it was meconopsis betonicifolia, the crown carrying the flowers will have died. You need to encourage the plant to make multiple crowns before letting it flower (by pinching out flowering stems while it is still young). A case of being cruel (to the plant) to be kind (to the gardener)

28 Mar, 2010

 

Ian thinks the street plantings are better than our garden at the minute and wants to know if you left anything for anyone else?
Carol.

28 Mar, 2010

 

No, Anrea - no special conditions,the labels tell you whether they need shade or sun etc. The plants just seem to be unusual - not normally found in a Garden Centre, and probably grown in small quantities, by the smaller Nurseries.

It was a lovely day out, but tiring!

Pepperpot, I'm sending you a PM.

28 Mar, 2010

 

Sounds like a wonderful day and in a beautiful setting.

28 Mar, 2010

 

Yes, it was...and the rain held off, too...:-)))

28 Mar, 2010

 

Barbara, what a brilliant day out - sounds like heaven to me ! Sad to see there aren't any in the North West though. :-)

29 Mar, 2010

 

:))) glad you had a productive day Spritz and you managed to stay dry.
The clematis lady is lovely isn't she :) I'm going to be hunting her down again LOL
You got some lovely plants, Rare plants sales always turn up trumps with something :D. I have another one at Rosemoor in May

29 Mar, 2010

 

Ooh, what a lovely day :-))))
And 'two' trips back to the car .... not so much a 'bootful' as a 'car-full' !!!
This is my kind of day out and want to get to the one in Blagdon now !

29 Mar, 2010

 

Some lovely plants there Spritz. We have a few rare plant sales up here......must keep an eye out for the next one......

29 Mar, 2010

 

Brilliant day out Spritz and such lovely purchases.

29 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks - I really enjoyed it!
Yes, Grindle, the clematis lady...and her husband...were a pleasure to meet!

Shame I can't get them all planted...the weather...say no more! :-((

29 Mar, 2010

 

wow i would love to go to one of them barbara but nothing close to me im affraid, as per usual :o( glad you got some plants you have wanted and a few more to, lovely setting to barbara :o))

29 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks, Sandra - yes, it was a really good day. :-)

Keep your eyes open, though - this is not the only Plant Fair list - there are others, and next time, there might well be one in travelling distance of you.

29 Mar, 2010

 

will do barbara, will keep looking online :o))

29 Mar, 2010

 

Sanbaz try the NCCPG website, they have a list so you can check your area

29 Mar, 2010

 

cheers grindle :o)

29 Mar, 2010

 

What a lovely setting to have the Fair, sounds as though you enjoyed yoursely and suceeded in geting the plants wanted, they all look beautiful will look forward to seeing more of them as they settle into your garden!

29 Mar, 2010

 

Just your kind of day Spritz and from your photo`s you`ve got some lovely plants for your already beautiful garden. The surroundings looked wonderful and you had plenty of exercise (running back and forth to the car) all in all a great day which you obviously enjoyed.

29 Mar, 2010

 

What a brilliant day out you had and a lovely place to spend the day in aswell

29 Mar, 2010

mad
Mad
 

Oh Spritz what a lovely day out, and you have bought some wonderful looking plants. You're going to be busy planting - when the weather allows.
Unfortunately there is nothing on your list near us, but I'll keep my eyes open.

29 Mar, 2010

 

Running, Stroller? Staggering, more like! OL.

Yes, thanks - it really was a special day in a special setting. I'm looking forward to showing you some more 'different' plants when they flower. :-))

29 Mar, 2010

 

My idea of a great day out too...wonderful plants you bought.I bet you were a happy lady with all those.The display in the high street is beautiful.We called in at Wells a long time ago ..a lovely place,but not enough time there,sadly....

29 Mar, 2010

 

I didn't have time to walk round to re-visit the Cathedral, but I have been there before. It's worth a visit. Those flower containers were all the way down the High Street and looked wonderful!

Yes - I'm still happy today! :-)))

29 Mar, 2010

 

i see the north has little on offer again :o(

Good selection of plants. I have Chinodoxia 'pink giant' but was told it was a forbesii species. so i will have to check up on that again. Love the hacquetia too.

A good day out then.
Are you over the sinusitis?

29 Mar, 2010

 

glad you had a nice day out, and got some great plants.......the high street planters look very nice............

29 Mar, 2010

 

They do, don't they Holly.

Thanks, Sbg - and you could well be right about the Chionodoxa. I didn't have time to check it out last night. No - still a painful face, but improving, thanks!

Sorry I couldn't find you a Plant Fair, but Grindle had a good suggestion!

29 Mar, 2010

 

I have checked the Chionodoxa, and it is a forbesii, so I'll put that in my plant list. Thanks, Sbg.

29 Mar, 2010

 

it does make me a bit miffed when plants are named incorrectly. And as for synonyms grrrrr :o(

29 Mar, 2010

Sid
Sid
 

Oh golly gosh I would have been in my element!! So, dare I ask, how many plants did you come home with?!

I went to a plant fair last year and loved every minute! Only came home with 3 plants, but treasures all of them! It was £5 to get in, but was held at a very lovely garden which was worth the £5 in itself. We were lucky to get in - the traffic was qued up down the hill - must have been about 1/2 a mile or more - and we learned later that they had had to close the gates coz the park was full! So we were lucky to get in! Will defo go again this year if they hold it again.

Could you tell me when the Llanover, Abervagenny plant fair is please Barbara?

29 Mar, 2010

 

Yup. PM on the way!

I'm not letting on how many plants I bought. Let's just say...rather a lot. lol.
It was a fantastic day, though. I could have bought TWICE as many!

29 Mar, 2010

Sid
Sid
 

He he...I bet you could've!!!

29 Mar, 2010

 

One particular Nursery had such great plants, and all unusual ones, that he only had about 6 left when I started off home. The Fair hadn't closed at that point, so it wouldn't surprise me if he was cleared out!

29 Mar, 2010

 

Lucky you, love rare plant fairs, have bought some wonderful plants in the past, I noticed you had Hacquetia, bought this in Wales many years ago, lost it a couple of years ago, but such a good doer. I spend enough online, now without going to the fairs, would not have any money left for food!!! we did find some of the fairs were rather expensive ?

29 Mar, 2010

 

Fabulous blog Barbara! I visited Wells a few years ago. It is a lovely little place and a lovely cathedral. No rare plant fairs in Scotland?....perhaps your leaflet only covers England....I will look into it. You certainly got some real treasures there! I particularly like the violet flowers on the Cardamine, but they are all lovely plants. Hope they are all thriving for you. It's blowing a gale here today and when I opened the door for Molly this morning she backed away in a sort of "you must be joking, get me a doggy loo" kind of way!! lol x

30 Mar, 2010

 

Dd - I was surprised at the reasonable prices that most of the Nurseries were charging. There was only one that was OTT, e.g. £5.95 for a smallish pot of phlox paniculata, which I don't call 'rare' anyway - and so on. I don't think people were flocking round her area!

Thanks, Karen - I suspect you're right. Scotland does tend to 'do its own thing' so you could google and probably find some up there. Yes, Wells is lovely - so the setting was good, too.

Our weather is set to be awful all week, I think - but we should miss the snow. Poor Molly! Henry is exactly the same, but when it comes to walk time, he's all for it! LOL.

30 Mar, 2010

 

Just looked in my old gardening diary and found entry 1998 Hacquetia Epipactis, (correct name, sorry to be pedantic) £1.25, so it has done very well have only recently lost it, hope yours does as well.

30 Mar, 2010

 

Ooops! Did I spell it wrong? Sorry......thanks for telling me.

Yours did very well....will you get another one?

30 Mar, 2010

 

I will because it is such a smashing little plant an early Spring flower is always a joy.

30 Mar, 2010

 

I do agree....:-))

31 Mar, 2010

 

Really interesting log and my idea of a good day out. The main problem is when you get home and wonder into which space you can cram a plant. I shall be looking out for a fair near me

1 Apr, 2010

 

Spritz has a selection of shoehorns for different size non-spaces, Another. Perhaps she would lend you one when you need it!

2 Apr, 2010

 

I will indeed - my expertise with shoehorns is well-known! I hope you find a Plant Fair. ;-))

2 Apr, 2010

 

Ooooh that corydalis is quite breathtaking.....what did you show me that for.....you know what I'm going to say....I want it;-) I used to go to these plant fairs, but never saw one of these:-(

5 Apr, 2010

 

Seaburngirl says it might well seed itself - so you never know! I shall NOT be cutting the dead flowers off. ;-))

6 Apr, 2010

 

Lovely Plants Barbara, The Haquetita is a lovely plant but it likes it's shade doesn't it, I remember seeing some in a secluded spot when we went down to RHS Rosemoor the other year, at least I know I can get some if you have some now!

The Tulips are amazing too!, the yellow one looks like it could eat you up for dinner!

Chelwood is just round the corner from us so I hope to get there, failing that I will go to Blagdon.

6 Apr, 2010

 

It was most definitely worth going, Mick - for people who love plants, sheer BLISS!! lol.

6 Apr, 2010

 

ha, people like us then!!!

6 Apr, 2010

 

You got it in one. :-0))

6 Apr, 2010

 

I would love to go to a plant sale like that, I just know I would find something to bring home! I just happen to live about 10 miles from Syon House. :o)

6 Apr, 2010

 

Oh Sandra - I don't know how to tell you this...I'm so sorry, but the Syon House fair was last Sunday...I wish you'd asked me before....:-(((((

I've sent you a PM. x

6 Apr, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by spritzhenry

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 May, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Jan, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Dec, 2009

  • uma
    Uma

    Gardening with friends since
    28 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    30 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    7 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    11 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    23 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    13 May, 2010