Another plant fair, another haul

On Friday I ignored the rain, I braved the mud and I went to Cottesbrooke Gardeners Fair, one of my most favourite events of the year.  What sets this fair out from most of the others is that is concentrates on plants and it attracts some of the best specialist nurseries in the country.  You can buy what may be termed the standard, generally available plants and you can also buy the specialist, plant obsessive, amazing plants.  All types of gardeners attend this fair, going on their own terms and finding what makes them happy.

I've been going for about five years now I think (not sure, time blurs), every year it gets a little bit bigger and definitely better.  The organisation also clearly learns from year to year.  Travelling in has been difficult in previous years, there have been queues of traffic to get in which were really frustrating.  Cars full of people who want to get spending their money are not a good thing to leave waiting in the road!  This year this issue was solved, well certainly when I arrived we pretty much drove straight in with only minimal queueing to get into the car park.

This is all just introduction though, of course the important thing is - what did I buy - well:

These are not in any specific order, I bought this Erodium Manescavii, I loved its amazing colour and its sprawling habit.  I am hoping it might self-seed or that I can divide it at a future date to have more.  (I am sure one of your will tell me the best propagation method).
This is a Primula Walton hybird, for my woodland border.  In true plant-fair fashion I managed to break off the tallest open flower that it had getting it out of the car, yes out of the car, I got it into the car ok, I got it to the car ok, I broke the flower off when I got home.  Did I curse?  just a little.  Anyway, it has beautiful clear yellow flowers that smell a little of honey and I think it is amazing.
I also wanted some ferns for my woodland border so I bought this Dryopteris Erythrosora and Dryopteris Celsa.  Until now I had zero ferns, which just is not good enough.  I never used to understand their appeal but now the beauty of their leaves and structure just wows me.
On the recommendation of Colin from Swines Meadow Nurseries, a good friend made via Twitter, I bought this Papaver Somniferum 'Blackcurrent fizz', currently in the greenhouse until the wind dies down, but this is a beautiful poppy and I cannot wait for it to flower and set seed.  Buying annual poppies is a real investment in the future as the first year you get a brief bit of happiness, but in future years you get ongoing joy.  Am I obsessed with poppies?  just a little.
and finally, well sort of finally, the beautiful, the incredible, Lupinous arboreus prostrata.  My new love this year is the tree lupin.  I have a yellow more upright one already that I thought was really beautiful.  This year it has grown incredibly well, the rain has been good news in so many ways (not in all ways I know, but..)   When I saw these tree lupins on a stall I made a bee-line for them and had to buy one.  The stallholder said I was the first to buy one as people just were not appreciating them.  How unfortunate that is for those people.  Tree lupins are amazing, the rain collects on their leaves and stays in shiny drops that glisten in any late sun.  The flowers are pretty and best of all the scent is as incredible as it was unexpected by me.  I had no idea they had scent, but once I realised they did then I knew I had to have more and more of these wonderful plants.  So now I have two.
So excited was I at the purchasing of the Tree Lupin that I had to tweet a photo of it before I left the fair, yes I am that sad.

Now I said finally, but not quite finally because I did a silly thing.  I left a bag of plants in my friends car.  I also bought a Salvia Silas Dyson and a geranium that I cannot remember the name of but was quite different from other geraniums I have bought before.  When it turns up I will let you know.

So that was my haul.  I had a lovely time, the weather tried to make it miserable but it failed completely.  Now I am looking forward to next year's fair.


  1. I would love to go to Cottesbrook - sadly just a little to far away from me.
    I do like your Erodium Manescavii - what an amazing colour. You got some great plants in your haul

    1. Thanks - yes the erodium has more flowers out already - so pleased with it.

  2. reassuring to know I'm not the only one that manages to break plants in transport. Like your selections especially Erodium

  3. loved Cottesbrooke too, although by half eleven it was a bit of a quagmire! Came away with some lovely plants, including some Japanese wasabi which just goes to show that you never know just what you'll see and fall for there! The Erodium looks neon! Beautiful x

  4. Love your blog, sadly this year I failed to get to Cottesbrooke, that's 5 failed years in a row.

    Next year will have to be my 1st year.


Post a Comment

Comments are approved before being published