A bright, sunny Sunday morning took us to Kentchurch Court gardens when we visited ‘Gardens in the Wild’ in June. Our visit started with a very good-humoured mixup over our tickets, and in a way, that set the tone for what was a very warm, sunny, joyous garden- and that included the totally fabulous cream and raspberry scones that finished off the visit. We met the gardener in charge of it all, who seemed as bright and optimistic as his garden over a discussion about Lychnis chalcedonica, the bright red pompoms of which can be seen in the view above and in detail below.
The Walled Garden, in particular, was a joyous mix of shrubs and trees for structure, with big, bold repeating borders stuffed to the armpits with happy plants, some rare and unusual, others cheap as chips, and with repeating swathes of Lychnis chalcedonica, Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Ball’ and Centaurea phrygia.
So brilliant. 300 seeds of ‘Black Ball’ from Sarah Raven, see above, and you would have an industrial scale planting possibility. I was inspired and have done that, though in lesser numbers, with the Lychnis and ‘Black Ball’. Really, really easy from seed.
I adore Centaurea orientalis too, but it does go to mush quickly as my friend Jane observed. For more about Centaurea as a family, Dan Pearson has a useful article. But there was more to see than a Centaurea tour!
And lastly, a mystery plant, well, to me at any rate, and a possible rose identification. NB. My pal, Jane the Shropshire Gardener, has identified the mystery plant as Salsify– (Tragopogon porrifolius) and it was weaving its way all through the border plantings, with these exquisite flowers and seedheads popping up all over.
What an inspiring garden, full of fun, colour and energy. And great scones, trust me.