Friday, 13 May 2016

Ten years ago Pimlico, for one month, was my home. I loved it.....pints in the Fox and Hounds and Parakeets squawking overhead in the London Planes of the Chelsea Hospital! Barnsley House, in 2006,  had one of the large gardens at Chelsea Flower Show where Joff, another BH gardener, and I were involved in the planting and build. It was a fantastic time and a silver awarded too; but intense and the dash out of London via a mad Saturday evening on Shepherds Bush High Street capped it all. It was late when we got back to Barnsley and raining heavilly as I drove along the Welsh Way towards Ready Token. The lane was awash running with water and either side was a breaking wave of foaming, frothy Cow Parsley brushing the car as it navigated the bends and potholes. I had been spoilt by a month's exposure to planting and plants of the highest standards; but this native, herby lushness took my breath away forcing me to slow down and coast.

It is, once again, Chelsea time; but more importantly time to celebrate and admire Cow Parsley as it upholsters verges and woodland fringes with it's billowing, lacy umbels of tiny white flowers. At Barnsley House it holds court in the Wilderness, underpinning the blossoms in the trees; especially 'May' blossom, it is also pleasing to see it punctuate the 'quiet' corners such as under the Walnut where it softens the mood and prevents an 'over worked' look.

Cow Parsley and Geraneum phaeum 'Lily Lovell' by the Potaher well.

This Saturday (14th May)  is Barnsley Village Festival day and the team have been tirelessly working; even weeding out the odd Cow Parsley.  We have had plenty of rain and although there's always work to be done I'm very happy with how the garden is looking; especially Pond Garden, Laburnum Walk and the Broad Border. This lush late spring growth once described by Charles Verey as "verdant; but not overweight", perfectly phrased, is now at it's height throughout Barmsley.
Cow Parsley in the Wilderness "verdant; but not overweight".

If given the chance would I do Chelsea again?
....course I would!

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