When we visit other gardens we sometimes find that perfect spot, that part of the garden that we would love to wrap up and bring home with us. It is the part of the garden to which we are always drawn when we visit and it feels as though we are returning to see an old acquaintance, to check on how it is doing this year, to see if anything has changed, to check on the progress of particular plants and to assure ourselves that it has continued to be just as we love it – we might even be disappointed if the gardeners had made changes without consulting us!
The bottom of the woodland in The Bay Garden is my favourite garden spot of all the gardens I have visited in Ireland. It is a perfect example of the Beth Chatto mantra – “Right plant, right place” – for this is a wet area and it is planted with candelabra primulas, hardy orchid cultivars, varieties of Iris ensata, luscious hostas, Zanthedesias, that big pink Meadowsweet (Filipendula) a selection of ferns and, of course, they all thrive here.
It is not the only special spot in The Bay Garden but is my favourite and the one I wish to especially see when we visit. Roses are always outstanding at The Bay and this year Rosa ‘Iceberg’ on the front of the house stole the show. I have noticed that Frances’ “Funereal Border” has become less funereal and brighter colours have been introduced which I think is a very Irish development as funerals are often quite merry occasions here. The plants chosen for the Italianate garden show they were perfectly chosen for their conditions as they are thriving there in the gravel surrounding the pond and the Grass Garden, the only grass garden that I have ever liked and admired, has reached its maturity and has achieved that difficult to achieve design challenge of the garden blending into the countryside and the countryside seeming to flow into the garden.
Iain has taken a particular interest in hydrangeas over the last few years and there is always a choice selection available in his sales area – all home-propagated as are all the plants there which is surely the best way to obtain a plant. I have some of his hydrangeas and orchids in my garden and am delighted with them – so, I managed to wrap up some small part of the garden and take it home with me!
And, finally, a slideshow of photographs taken at The Bay last week.