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I haven’t been to Stockton Bury for a month and the borders seem to have exploded with campanulas. For the first time I took my mother to the garden. She has been having a rough time with sciatica so I thought a trip out to a garden and some cake was just the thing.  I don’t think I have been to Stockton Bury at this time of year before, I certainly don’t remember seeing the mass of campanulas before.

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We particularly liked the way they were used in contrast with bright coloured flowers – I think contrasting colours work so well. Pastels and subtle colour combinations are all very nice but there is nothing like the zingyness of bright yellow against the cooling blue.

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Or the blue of the campanulas against this Lychnis chalcedonica.

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but I especially like the blues against the chartreuse green of the euphorbia and the emerging flowers of the soldiago.

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But it’s not all campanulas.  Mum really fell for the eringiums, especially eringium alpinum superbum which were smothered in bees. IMG_0744A seemingly bland statement but my mother has always been a gardener who likes neat and short plants, never anything tall or leggy so the fact that she was smitten by the eringiums is quite fascinating.  In fact since Dad died her approach to the garden has completely changed.  She has a small garden which was predominately shrubs with some small perennials but over this year some of the shrubs have been removed and the whole garden is starting to feel more cottagey and is suddenly quite feminine.  I find it fascinating as Dad was never really that bothered by the garden although he did the lawn and pruned the shrubs but I was never aware of him really influencing the planting.  She is really getting a sense of enjoyment and achievement from the garden and every time I visit there are new plans, plants to move and replace  and she is thrilled with learning about new plants – not bad for a 76 year old.

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What about this for an electric combination? I really like it and must make a note to try it next year although I have never done very well with Monardas in the past but its worth a go.

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This is one plant I will never convince Mum to consider growing as she thinks they are really creepy!! I, on the other hand, love them.

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I leave you with one of the many paths at Stockton Bury which lead you in gentle curves around the garden.

Mum loved the garden and how she was constantly surprised going round a corner to come across another bank of flowers.  The outing was a complete success, including the delicious coffee and walnut cake, so much so that she picked up a leaflet with a map on it so she could find her way back with her friend.