Or Cortaderia selloana, the once popular but now neglected Pampas Grass. It was high summer all right. Towering over our heads the plumes of this life enhancing, if space inhibiting, grass were extraordinary. My father-in-law grew this plant to perfection until, as he burned down the stubble after the flowering and seed head period, he singed the next door neighbour’s fence.
Later on in the day, or rather night, there was to be a lighting display, Harlow Carr bowing down to populism. I’m sure it will be illuminating and they were set up in the best possible taste.
Back to real plants. The barks of cherry and birch. The gardeners had been out buffing up the Prunus for all they were worth. A gloss and polish like that can’t be natural. The birch is matt white. Where was my Parker fountain pen when I needed it? Such beauty. The bark not the handwriting.
Naturally I had to visit the alpine house where, genuine surprise here, there was not the variety of colour I’ve come to expect. So I’ll miss out the ipheions because I have them in flower in the open soil – did you hear that Harlow Carr? And go straight to this gem with tiny red flowers. Saxifraga gokka. It flowers in late autumn and I know from a friend that rabbits ignore it completely. So why grow it under glass? Because it is lovely with its bright blooms bursting from interesting lobed foliage. Unsullied by frost’s little fingers.
The sun was bright indeed even if it was perishing. Everywhere was nicely spruced up however. They also provide seats for old men. Very much appreciated.
And to round off our excursion how about this for an all in one treat for the garden visitors? A house with all the trimmings, even a tap. Very nice, yes? Great visit ….. apart from the “Galaxy Wind Spinner / Wind Sculpture in burnished gold finish” I was persuaded to purchase about which much more later when I’ve set it up.