This one-day annual plant fair at Chenies Manor House and Garden near Amersham, Bucks, is one of the best in the gardening year. There were about 70 independent nurseries selling plants. There are no display gardens, and the few non-plant stalls include plant supports, info about bees and honey, antique garden tools and some garden sculptures, but mainly this is a plant buying paradise.
Perennial plants predominate and this show is a blaze of colour because the stalls specialise in late summer colour plants in full bloom. I come here every year to fill my garden with colour for the next few months.
It’s cost effective because with a small space to fill I can get fully grown plants which I know will do well and last for years. Whenever I have tried planting smaller and cheaper specimens in spring for autumn colour I have lost many of them to slugs, being smothered or just not thriving through a very hot period.
Some nursery names you might recognise include Derry Watkins, Dyson Nurseries for salvias, Laurel Farm Herbs and Edibles, Philip Tivey for alstroemerias, Beth Chatto Garden and Daisy Roots from Hertforshire. Anyone who is anyone in the plant selling world was there.
There are also some specialist stands selling grasses, clematis, garlic, carnivorous plants, herbs, chillies and bulbs.
Parking was easy, entrance £8 and there’s a plant crèche. Here are some of the plants I came home with:-
I bought several unusual oregano plants which are so attractive for insects and make the garden hum with life. In this yellow pot I’ve just dropped them all in to keep them safe while I decide where to plant them. There are bees on them already.
This Veronicastrum provides height and late summer colour and the one I planted last year is covered with bees all day long.
Equally tall and very unusual, here is Verbena hastata rosea from Daisy Roots nursery in Hertfordshire.
The crocosmias look great with purple lythrum. While I decide where to plant them, I’ve dropped them all into a big blue pot to provide a blaze of colour for a few weeks.
I couldn’t resist some more geranium “Rozanne” as it really is such good value, flowering for months and providing fresh green groundcover.
The date for your diary next year is Sunday July 15th 2018.
For those near north London there will be the usual autumn plant fair at St Michaels’ School, Highgate on September 2nd 10am to 3.30pm. Lots of independent nurseries will be there selling late summer colour.