Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Day Out at Swines Meadow Farm Nursery

A great display of Begonias At Swines Meadow
When I first joined Twitter one of the first people I started to follow wasd @rareplants, who runs the wonderful Swines Meadow Farm Nursery in Market Deeping in Lincolnshire, along with his wonderful wife Karan. In time I came to learn that behind the Twitter name is Colin Ward, a brilliant plantsman who quite honestly knows more about plants in his little finger than I do in my entire body.

Last weekend Colin held the second of his two plantfairs this year. Lots of nurseries reasonably close to Colin had stalls and there were some excellent plants for sale as blogged by @papaver. However, as a plantaddict I was far more interested to see what Colin had on offer as he seems to be a master in finding slightly different varieties from the norm and growing them amazingly, as with the display of Begonia above.

Swines Meadow has a great selection of Ginkgo varieties for sale
In the outdoor beds there are a fantastic selection of herbaceous plants and grasses alongside some amazing trees such as the Ginkgo above, and a spectacular variegated Liriodendron. There are also lots of fruit trees and an incredible selection of bamboos. All the plants, whether large or small, are beautifully presented and look healthy and amazingly fresh which has been a difficult thing to achieve in the dreadful season we have had this year.

Once inside the greenhouse that is open to visitors there is an incredible range of  plants which range from annuals to perennial Begonias and ferns, along side some less hardy plants such as Fuchsia arborescens, which will need to be brought in over the winter months.

The greenhouse full of great finds.

Colin and Karan propagate lots of the more unusual plants at the nursery, growing lots from seeds, cuttings and division. If you get the chance to visit the inner sanctum, where all the plants are brought on, you will find a treasure trove of wonderful and unusual plants. I came away with an Akebia pentaphylla, a very rare and unusual Akebia which is an incredible plant and which Colin has propagated from his own stock plant.

I could go on and on about the plants which are available at Swines Meadow but rather than bore you I would implore you to go and have a look at www.swinesmeadowfarmnursery.co.uk, where you will see the range of plants that are available. Mail order is available too!!

To finish your visit please go and look at the amazing garden that Colin and Karan have created as it not only gives ideas on how to integrate plants bought at the nursery into your garden, but is an amazing and beautiful space to just be in. So I will finish this post with a selection of photos taken in the garden on Sunday.

Finally, please look out for nursery folk such as Colin and Karan. It's very easy to go to your local garden centre and buy plants that have been imported through Holland  but unless we support our British nurserymen and women and buy British grown plants, we will lose these wonderful folk and their knowledge.

An enormous Tetrapanax Rex

Cornus contraversa Variegata or the Wedding Cake Tree
Paulonia tomentosa cut back to create the huge leaves
Huge caulms of Bamboo

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much Sara glad you enjoyed the plant fair and nursery. It's always a pleasure to have you and Andy visit us.