I dislike hotels as a rule and the uncertainty of what to expect when you arrive only adds to the bother. Whether it be hotel or cottage holiday break, I could not care less about wi-fi, tv, swimming pool or the like. I just want a clean, comfortable bed for the night in relatively quiet and pleasant surroundings. Thus last month when it came to staying away on a Tai Chi weekend I opted for the ‘Old Vicarage’ hotel, Bridgwater primarily because it had such lovely gardens. My guess was that any hotelier with such an obvious love for plants must surely be ‘mein host’. I was not far wrong either – neither the hotel nor the gardens disappointed.
There were white, butter cream and damask pink roses draped over arches, ox-eye daisy and foxglove marooned in unmown islands, whilst Nigella misted the gravel paths with shocking pink snapdragons for company. And then there were mounds of these dainty miniatures:-
I thought it would be easy to find the name of the white butterfly-bloom pansies but none of the search terms brought up anything remotely like Viola cornuta ‘Minor Alba’. Instead I found the answer whilst searching for something else, probably white osteospermums.
I’d bought a pot of these pale ruffle-centred daisies thinking they were an unusual mutant that could make my fortune, only to discover that they debuted from Sutton’s last year and are making a bit of a splash in 2012 with their tubular doubling effect and 3 colour choice of white, pink or purple.
It’s just as well that these ‘Flower Power’ sun lovers are also tolerant of cool and damp conditions for we do not need seaweed to foretell the wet weather.
Day after day of rain, showers and deluges since the parched winter, have now filled the reservoirs, rivers and water tables. Gardens are enjoying all this natural hosing and the freshening of our waterways is evidently beneficial to fowl and the myriad fry, slip-sliding along the polished surface of the Regent’s canal.
and in a favourite place too…
Postscript: With less opportunity to garden since last year, I’ve turned to honing basic photography skills and artfully tweaking the images. Instead of them gathering virtual dust, I’ll be posting them up on my other blog : eljaygee. Do stop by there too sometime – it could even prove serendipitous!
Viola cornuta ”Minor Alba’
Osteospermums ‘Flower Power’
Bridgwater: The Old Vicarage
Guide to Woodbridge
©Copyright 2012 Laura Thomas.
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