Return to Waterston Manor

Sunday 23rd June saw us travelling down to the verdant depths of Dorset – to Waterston Manor, to be precise, the setting for last year’s very successful Dorset Gardens Trust event. This year’s do was an independent affair, organised in order to raise funds for TAINT, an organisation set up to campaign against the siting of a significant wind farm in the area. Although we were in the same delightful orchard area as last year, the arrangement of the stands was different such that we ended up with the longest, narrowest display we have ever set up, as in the photo below.


There was quite a lot going on other than plant sales, what with a dog show that attracted most of the canines in that part of Dorset, it seemed, no to mention the delights of the Anonymous Travelling Market which offered a range of interesting things to do, see or eat.


The only thing to complain about on an otherwise splendid day was our old friend and foe the weather which  provided more ventilation than might have been deemed strictly necessary. Not to mention being what can only be described as cold at times (on went most people’s anoraks and woolly jumpers). Of course, come break down time, out came the warm sun – typical! Still, a lot of people enjoyed a day out and we imagine the organisers must have been pleased with the turnout. We were happy to return to such a lovely setting and look forward to next year’s DGT event at Herringstone.

Rob & Joanna – June 2013


The new & the unusual

This year we have been spreading our wings a bit and taking in more events than in past seasons in our continuing bid for world domination. One of the additions to our calendar was the Garden Show at Stansted, held in the splendid grounds of Stansted Park near Rowlands Castle. It’s a big event, spread over three days (7th to 9th June) with literally hundreds of exhibitors – not just nurseries, but all sorts of garden-related sundries, along with arts and crafts and a foodstuffs too. Despite a few thunderstorms rolling around on the first day and a pretty stiff breeze on all three days, thousands of visitors came through the gates and there was a real buzz about the whole event. Rather different to your average plant fair!

STANSTED june 13 1Average is not an epithet that can be applied to the event of the following weekend, the Unusual Plants Fair held at Gilbert White’s House in Selborne, now in its 21st year and something of a pioneer in  the world of plant fairs. Held over two days, it’s always a well attended and interesting affair, with nurseries coming not just from Hampshire, but from Somerset, Hertfordshire, Kent and other far flung counties. And you really do find some pretty unusual plants there! An innovation this year was the award for best presented nursery stand: we were in the final shortlist of four but narrowly missed out on the final accolade, which deservedly went to Overbrooks. Still, it’s nice to be in the mix!


It’s that bank of trees visible in the background that we always remember from this event: it has an air of unreality about it, possibly because, as you see it from the leeward side, there is no visible movement among the leaves or branches.

Rob & Joanna – June 2013