Last weekend it was the first plant fair of the year, this one at Savil Gardens. I try and go every year, meeting up with friends who normally laugh at my complaints that the only plants to buy are sempervivums. This year with the new sections in the garden there was actually an opportunity to buy different plants. Sadly I forgot my camera, so only have photos of the plants once safely back in the garden.
Typically what was the first stall there, a succulent one! They have never been there before and had a great selection. I really wasn't looking for any more non-hardy plants but couldn't resist these three miniature haworthias.
The main part of the fair was more traiditonal plants, usually specialist forms which make the trip worth while. One of the best purchases was mahonia soft caress.
A friend had recomended it for a corner in the shade garden. It is under my OHs studio window, so there were strict instruction that any plants were not to obscure the light. This should get up to sill height, or maybe just wave the tips of its delicate leaves in view without worry of it getting bigger. This was on my list of plants to look for, I almost missed it, thankfully the same friend pointed them out before we left.
Then there were the random buys like this veronica gentianoides.
The blue is much more defined than in the picture, which makes up for the slightly boring leaves. That corner gets a bit more sun than the rest of the section, so should be fine there. It is definitely lighting up the space at the moment.
I'm still very much finding my way with the non spikie plants, buying them the same way I buy succulents: just because I like the look of them. No doubt there is going to be a lot of re-planting in the shade areas to make it more interesting year round.
Back onto something I am more confident about, the alpines. The usual stall was there and instead of just going for sempervivums which I have enough of at the moment, there was a great range of other interesting plants. My favourite mounding plant was there scleranthus biflorus. I have tried this a couple of times in pots and have been looking for it to go in alpines rockery.
It was also an opportunity to ask where I had been going wrong. The consensus was lack of water in the height of summer. So the area was dug out a bit and more soil added in the hope of stopping it drying out too quickly.
I also picked up a cotula hispida, although haven't decided where this one is going yet.
A total suprise find was this crassula sarcocaulis.
I've been looking for a bonsai tree style alpine for years, hoping this will fit the bill. A few pieces have already been taken to propagate and once settled in it may be trimmed to get a better shape. I should have bought a few to experiment with. Hopefully now I know the name, I'll be able to find more online.
The alpine bed is now filling up, and the shade area is well underway although still lots of space for new plants as well.