I am lucky enough to live close to Ryton Organic Gardens and this weekend I decided to brave the heat to spend some time at what is one of my favourite gardens. (I had been lamenting the continuous wind and rain in the past few months so could not really pass up a day of full sun with not even a whisper of a breeze.) My main aim was to indulge my favourite pastime, botanical photography, but, in the past it has provided inspiration from a produce point of view.
Although it is a big place they have divided it up into a number of smaller areas including a cook’s garden, a garden planted to encourage bees and one for birds as well as allotment areas and experimental areas. Their soft fruit garden was the reason behind my purchase of an evergreen oregon thornless blackberry which we are currently training to hide the bins.
Whilst I did take a few pictures that I was reasonably pleased with (see my Flickr page) I also got a few ideas for the front garden which I am in the process of planting up. The main constituents of the front are herbs (which we planted some time ago) and some grasses which we did not want in the back garden anymore. These will be augmented by lots of bulbs, annuals and perennials, the main criteria being low cost and photogenic appearance.
I was very much taken by a white flower bed that they had planted. The centre was a huge mass of white cosmos (a favourite of mine) with two different plants at each corner of the rectangular patch. In one corner I was particularly taken by some stunning white Nigella which was in front of a fluffy headed grass.Â
In the diagonally opposite corner there was another plant that I was thinking of buying, Echinacea ‘White Swan’. In truth I was a little underwhelmed, expecting something much whiter where this seemed cream coloured at best, possibly heading towards a lemony yellow.
So it is a thumbs up to the Nigella, a maybe to the Echinacea.
What do you think?