There have not been many perfect sunny days so far in 2018 and I was lucky to be part of a private visit to Ashwood Hellebore Nursery with the Leicestershire & Rutland Gardens Trust on an exceptionally sunny day.This was the first time I had visited the nursery and I have to say the stock looked very healthy and was extensive.
The guided “Hellebore Tour” gave us a fascinating insight into the history of Ashwood Hybrid Hellebores. Part of the propagation shed full of hellbore stock.Our guide explaining the process of pollination and selection. I had heard that they were trying to develop hellebores which held their heads up. However, this is no longer the case as they found that, with the open flower upwards, they suffered from the rain etc. They now concentrate on flowers whose backs have more interest as it is the backs that are most viable from above.
never the less the stock plants clearly demonstrated why their hellebores are world famous.
As well as the hellebores, the private visit included a tour around “John’s Garden”. John’s Garden is the private garden of John Massey, owner of Aswood Nurseries. It is situated behind the nursery in a canal-side setting, in the lovely open countryside of South Staffordshire. The garden has been developed since 1998.We were lucky to have John taking us around. He is an encyclopedia of plant knowledge and a great guide which made that garden come alive. He explained about transparency pruning and the importance of respecting a tree’s natural shape and form. The garden has a lot of shrubs that have been pruned in this way and I am sure any gardener would find this interesting.
Throughout the garden there are some great examples of sculpture. The canal can be seen towards the back of some of these pictures.Looking both ways along the pond.
As you would expect there are many interesting plants. The garden worked exceptionally well as a winter garden but from the photos of the garden at other times it would certainly be worth a visit on one of the open days.