22 July 2014

Fetes and Festivals

Back to Cot'sbrooke last week to haunt it once again. The occasion was the garden fete, held on the south lawn. Besides a man on stilts wearing gold lamé trousers, there was juggling and a be-boatered man strolling around with an accordian. The usual crowds gathered around the bric-a-brac. A wurlitzer at one end pumped out 'Nice Work If You Can Get It' while the quintet in the courtyard played Artie Shaw. And there were meringues with double cream.

What I really wanted to see though was the garden in high summer. Phylip Statner the head gardener is a genius and he always grows the latest It plants, while pretending that they just arrived there by chance. Dianthus carthusianorum above, is typical of this.

Unlikely plant combos come together effortlessly; again it's nothing to do with Phylip and his amazing creativity. Above: The Dutch Garden, which is really a parterre of four untamed rectangles surrounded horizontally and vertically by brick.

A regular around the borders is Verbascum chaixii 'Album'. Here it mingles with pink Monarda and the purple foliage of the forest pansy.

Now sights are set on the festival this weekend at Port Eliot: the Fortnums tent, the Ancient Industries stand (shared with Folk at Home) and of course the canvas bags.