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Comments on our previous visits in December 2014:
Question 1. Which of our visits have you enjoyed most and why?
1.a.Bickham Gardens – planting variety and professionalism, and
b.Lukesland – valley garden and unusual planting.
2.Enjoyed all of them especially Bickham and Hotel Endsleigh
3.a.Hotel Endsleigh – raised flower bed and beautifully laid out woodland with interesting specimen trees, great variety;
b. Bickham Gardens – cleverly laid out on slopes, wonderful walled garden with great veg and flowers, good talk from gardener and good colour co-ordination
4.a.Hotel Endsleigh – v. good enthusiastic and v. knowledgeable guide, fantastic long border;
b. Bickham – v.nice garden but not v. welcome to early arrivals, head gardener’s garden – v.good.
c. Lukesland also good.
Question 2. Can you remember something specific you have learned on one or more of the visits?
1. Orchid culture, seasonal culture of plants, enjoyment
2.a Orchid Paradise – don’t cut off the air roots, do cut the stem just below the last bloom to encourage another flowering shoot.
b. Maristow – importance of location and need to dig a steep slope diagonally to avoid soil erosion. c. Bickham – grow geraniums or fuchsias up walls under verandahs.
3. Orchids – use clear plastic pots to aid watering and cur down just below the last flower node. Re-pot when starting to lean. Some withstand quite low temperatures.
4. Orchid Paradise – different temperatures that orchids can grow in.
Question 3. Is there anything you did not like or would like to see done or organised differently?
1. All well organised.
2. Name badges at meetings, all well organised and much appreciated.
3. No change. All well organised.
4. Unfriendly welcome at Bickham, poor garden centre at Hotel Endsleigh but organisation brilliant.
Question 4. Do you have any more suggestions of gardens we might be able to visit, preferably less than 2 hours drive away?
1. Hill House Gardens, Staverton; The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum; Fungi identification(? November); Coleton Fishacre (?autumn colour); Delabole, Cornwood.
2. Anthony House woodland garden (requires mobility); Blackpool Sands secret garden; Coleton Fishacre with tour; Hill House nursery, Staverton
3. The Garden House; Lukesland; Blackpool Sands secret garden;
4. Lukesland in spring; Caerhayes when castle is open with a coach;
Garden World, Newton Abbot; The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum; Wildside, Buckland Monachorum (N.B. not open in 2015)
Question 5. Does anyone have any specialist interest/knowledge they would be willing to share or speakers on garden topics they can recommend? Give details if possible.
1. Gordon Waterhouse - fungi; Head gardener at Bickham
2. Strete Gate nursery on Camellias; someone on dry gardens
3. Stevie Rogers of Ash Tree Farm – excellent speaker and gives practical demonstrations at the farm
4. Find speakers via free garden magazine in garden centres and ‘Gardens to Visit’, use for winter meetings; don’t buy Daily Telegraph plant offers
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