Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Mid May Walk in MacPenny`s Woodland Garden


On a mild, grey afternoon last week, we walked in the shady woodland garden at MacPenny`s excellent plant nursery , in the village of Bransgore on the edge of the New Forest.
Macpenny`s is a family run nursery which grows much of its stock and is a treasure trove for gardeners who want good quality, often unusual plants. It is run by the Lowndes family, who are true plantsmen and can give specialist advice along with friendly, old fashioned service.

For more information, visit
www.macpennys.co.uk

The woodland walk was planted in the 1950s by the current owner`s father, Mr Douglas Lowndes, in an old gravel pit. The mature trees and plantings remain as a structure for newer plantings and there is always something interesting growing there, at whatever season you visit.


Earlier in the spring, azaleas and rhodedendrons are at the most colourful, but now it is time for the young acer leaves to open under the shade of tall, native trees.


A cluster of "stonehenge" containers for Alpine plants.



Slugs have not found this hosta, yet...


Wisteria in flower under a canopy of oak trees.


Bright underplanting...



....beside a footpath between the azalea blooms.




A splash of bright laburnum on a bank......


....the whitest rhodedendron........



.........beside a rustic pathway with wooden steps.


Scarlet berries of Skimmia japonica........


...and softer pink in the bracts of a Cornus rubra tree.



Secret pathways.....



...and yellow flag iris in flower amongst boggy plants in a woodland glade.


New acer leaves in bright contrast.


After a walk in the peace of the woods, we emerged again to rows of tempting plants for sale. I don`t think we have ever left MacPenny`s empty handed, and this time we took a young Cornus rubra home, plus cranesbill geraniums to underplant the roses.


I was sorely tempted by these beautiful aquilegias, especially the Red Hobbit below. Maybe another day..........



8 comments:

WOL said...

What a magical place! talk about advertising -- and inspiration!

Bovey Belle said...

WHAT a fabulous place to visit and I don't blame you for always failing to leave empty-handed! I have a paler yellow version of the Aquilegia in the last picture, and a red and yellow version of the Hobbit one! Your garden will look even more beautiful now (one of my greatest pleasures when staying is to just sit and look at your garden . . .)

Rowan said...

That looks a lovely place, you are lucky to have such a good plant nursery near to where you live. I fear the aquilegias would have come home with me, I love them:)

Karen said...

How different your garden nursery is from the ones here in North Carolina. Most of the locally owned ones are just wide open places with rows of plants with perhaps a couple of greenhouses. The only one that I know of that would come close to yours is Niche Gardens near Chapel Hill which offers only native plants:

http://www.nichegardens.com/

You are extremely lucky to have MacPenny's nearby.

Kath said...

I just love shady woodland gardens, your photos are just wonderful. I am so fed up with the wind here, that indoor jobs appeal to me today :-D

Dartford Warbler said...

Karen - most of our local plant and garden centres are just as you describe them in North Carolina. Rows of plants, often the "same old" varieties and often brought in from Holland on huge container lorries. They have their place, but I do like the traditional nurseries best. There are several in this area.

WOL - sorry about the blatant advertising LOL. I do think good, old fashioned family businesses are worth supporting though. The woodland garden is the "Living catalogue" for the nursery and it is lovely to see the plant you have admired in a small pot as it might be in twenty years time!

BB and Rowan - you would both love this nursery! I keep wondering if I should call in to see if the Red Hobbit is still there.......

Morning's Minion said...

During my 18 years of gardening in Vermont [1980-1998] I visited nearly every plant nursery within a 40 mile radius--only two that I recall were especially innovative in terms of plantings and uncommon varieties. Many of my cherished "old" roses came from mail order nurseries, and I found a catalog offering intriguing heritage perennial seeds. In starting my Kentucky garden I've settled for many common plants, which seem wonderful after the arid years in Wyoming, but the yearning is always there for something special.
Thank you for sharing the tour of this lovely nursery.

Callie said...

Lovely photos! I'm looking forward to having some flowers around here if we can ever get rid of winter.