Meeting April 11

On a fine spring evening over 80 members and guests welcomed a return visit by Colin Ward and his wife Karen from Swines Meadow Farm Nursery. They brought with them a very large selection of healthy plants ideally suited for shade and semi shade planting which were for sale after their talk.

The nursery, now over 10 years old is one of the UK’s leading specialist growers of exotic and rare plants.

Just some of the plants Colin and Karen featured in their talk were:

Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pewter lace’, a stunning painted fern with metallic pewter fronds with a purple mid rib.

Brunnera – Alexander the Great a particular favourite with silver haired foliage on heart shaped leaves.

Dryopteris – erythosora – evergreen fern with red fronds in spring turning yellowish on maturity.

Helleborus- nigra Gold Collection Jacob. Evergreen perennial, leathery like dark green leaves with saucer shaped white flowers.

Hosta Empress Wu, reputedly the largest hosta in the world with the potential of 50 cm leaves and over a metre in height. Dark green leaves with lavender flowers.

(Colin recommended an effective method for controlling slugs especially for hostas is an organic concentrate garlic spray (‘Garlic Wonder’) which is harmless to bees, earthworms, ladybirds, lacewings and other beneficial insects.)

Podophyllum – ‘Spotty Dottie’ very attractive perennial, green leaves beautifully marked purple brown. Open cup shaped white/pink flowers followed by red fruit.

This plant was so popular one had been bought BEFORE the talk started!

To find out about the full range of  shade and semi shade plants plus many more herbaceous perennials, shrubs, grasses, bamboo and conifers visit the website:






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