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This weekend I completely indulged in my passion for plants, to the extent that by 4pm on Sunday I couldn’t look at another border or take another photo.  This weekend was the AGM weekend for the Cottage Garden Society.  It was held at Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland, thanks to our President, Nick Hamilton.

I haven’t been to one of the AGM’s before but as I am our local club Secretary I thought I should give it a go and the prospect of visiting Barnsdale and two other gardens during the weekend was sufficient incentive.  Needless to say I have taken loads of photos, bought a few plants, met lots of nice gardeners and absorbed lots of ideas and I will be sharing some of these with you over the next couple of posts.

The weekend started on Saturday with the option to visit 3 gardens in Nottinghamshire.  Our small group decided that two gardens would be more than enough in one weekend as we had quite a long journey before.  The first garden was stunning, that is the only word for it.  It is called Dumbleside and opens for the NGS so if you are over Nottinghamshire way make an appointment to visit.  The owners are very welcoming, offering to dig up any plants we wanted which we thought was a joke but it turned out to be otherwise.

The photo are the top shows the view as you come up the garden from the stream.  There is a steep slope to the garden and it has been carefully terraced with narrow walks along a stream. 

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The planting is made up of ferns, trilliums, hostas, hardy orchids and then as you come up you are confronted with a sea of candelabra primulas.  The path meanders through these and you come across irises in abundance and more primulas.  To be honest there is such a wealth of plants that you would need all day to take everything in but we were short of time. 

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Back up  the top of the garden and there is a well maintained lawn with herbaceous borders. The large tree at the back of the photo is actually covered in one rose and the scent was quite intoxicating.

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At the end we found the plant sales area and I asked the owner about a plant I hadn’t recognised (below).  It turned out to be a Phytolacca.  Do you want one he says and proceeded to dig me up two seedlings which he potted up and presented to me telling me I would regret it in a couple of years as it really self-seeded!!

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They were so welcoming it made a lovely start to the weekend and set us up for the next garden which was completely different but more of that another day

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