Inglefield Plants, Cumbria

14 Jun

My eldest son and I spent a couple of days in the Lakes last week visiting my Mum. We dropped by a place that was, um, relevant to my interests: the first nursery i’ve seen where the appealing things outnumbered the unappealing. Speaking with the proprietor, he was recommending me stuff I either already had or didn’t have room for in an overstuffed winter-time greenhouse. But it gave him the impression that I kind of knew my onions, and once he knew we were buying one or two bits, he threw in a few extras! Seeing me agonising over a couple of aloes and taking only one, he pulled a bit off the one I didn’t take, stuck it in a pot of spikemoss and gave me that for free, before chucking a frustrated-looking Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’ into the bargain as well. Anyone wanting an instant garden perhaps wouldn’t have seen the promise in these, but they might be very useful in the future. Patience, patience.

They are ambitious in the choice of plants they have on sale; a Norfolk Island Pine towered up in the corner: “people wanted them when they were smaller, this last one’s too big now.” There were dozens of Asparagus densiflorus that had been growing on for the past four years; i’d seen this one recently online, growing in southern Californica alongside Aeoniums, a nice contrast of form. It was surprising to see them here en masse. What they planned to do with them i’ve no idea. The impression I got was that the owner grew the plants that interested him personally; a great thing to be able to do if you can manage to make a success of it.

I kept noticing things i’d missed at first glance, like a Dasylirion the width of a car or an eight foot tall Brugmansia x candida ‘Grand Marnier’.

I didn’t have a camera with me so I will describe. There were a couple of things on my wanted list. Agave parryi survived the winter before last unscathed at Will Giles’ xerophytic garden in Norfolk unlike nearly everything else in the bed. The one I bought is a baby, four years old. The other plant I have been after for a while is Melianthus major, the subject of my last post.

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