Monday, 18 March 2019

Rare plant fair in Wells.

Yesterday we went to Wells to see what was on offer at the rare plant fair, held in the Bishop's Palace.
After days of rain and high winds it was a relief to see some sunshine. But the stalls were set out in the shadow of the palace walls where it was uncomfortably COLD.

I went into the palace building to get warm

and could look down on the fair from an upstairs window.
It was more comfortable to be out of the shadows, walking round the gardens and enjoying the spring sunshine.

The magnolia trees were putting on a wonderful display.

Too early in the year for anything of interest to be seen in the flower beds, but they were well manured and in immaculate order, all ready to swing into action.
What did I buy? I dithered for ages over a stall selling  old-fashioned roses. Then I discovered that the growers live not too far away so I plan to visit and make my choice at their nursery. Many of the stalls were selling plants that I wouldn't consider rare at all. I chose a couple of replacements for plants that I lost last year, nothing special, an erysimum from which I'll take cuttings, a pretty pink primrose and a rambling rose, Felicity Perpetue, to go over the arbour where my climbing Iceberg died. I've looked in my rose book since getting home and see that she's not very hardy, which is a bit of a disappointment.
I was behaving well, buying so little! Then I looked at the stall of Arthur & Strange  Ltd, 'passionate about topiary.' They had a tripod ladder on display - I've hankered after one of those for years. I went up. It was stable. It was expensive. I came back down. Study but light with three adjustable legs. Ooh, we could even put on it's rubber shoes and bring it inside for decorating!
Well, I've got the perfect reason for purchase - I'm no longer young and acrobatic and can't dangle at dangerous angles to trim hedges and prune the apple trees. Those days are over. This morning we wandered round the garden with a long stick trying to establish what size ladder would suit us best. 
In the afternoon I went on the Arthur & Strange website. The ladder is ordered.


  1. I miss wandering around the U.K. on all my trips. I would have loved to be there. I miss all the houses, gardens flower, castles, walls, moats just everything.
    Thank You for the lovely photos.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Dear Parsnip, well its good to have you wandering around with me via the blog - and you avoided the cold, shivery shadows!

  2. I would like an excuse to rent the Bishop's Palace for an event.

    1. When you've found your excuse, please invite me to your event!

  3. The garden looks lovely, a pity it was so cold! The euphorbia is luminous in that light. It looks so good in a swathe.

    Very curious to see you up the new ladder. I've never seen a tripod ladder in person, only in old gardening books. They look just so sensible, I can't imagine why they aren't the norm.

    1. It is being delivered on Thursday. Apple tree pruning here I come!

  4. How fun, hey, nothing wrong with buying anything that makes our lives easier right? :) Those magnolia trees are so pretty!