Rosemoor is the Royal Horticultural Society’s principal garden in the South West of England. It was gifted to the RHS by Lady Anne Palmer in 1988 and now extends over 65 acres including woodland areas and a lake in addition to the formal gardens. Our trip coincided with the start of the rose festival, which ensured that the multi-coloured and multi-scented flower gardens were in peak condition.

Although starting off under grey skies, our party were reassured by a promising weather forecast which fortunately turned out to be correct. The afternoon was dry with sunny intervals and not too hot, perfect weather for enjoying the garden. There was something to satisfy every gardener’s interest: some of the spring flowers still holding on; masses of colourful and fragrant roses dotted with clematis in matching colours; herbaceous beds ready to burst into flower; fruit and vegetables developing nicely; specialist planting of Mediterranean and exotic plants; and much more besides. The photographers amongst us had a ‘field day’.

Many of the group ended the trip with a visit to the top quality plant centre. Congratulations are due to our coach driver who found creative ways to stash the masses of plants we picked up. Passing motorists may have been surprised by the faces peeking out through the jungle on board. I am hoping for great things from the group of veronica longifolia (look it up) I bought.

The standards of display at Rosemoor give us something to which we can aspire although I am still wondering quite how they get so many varieties of plant to all look good at the same time. Perhaps I will need to go again.


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