A Rockery in the Garden
(20 April 2007)
click on photo for larger image
of the South Chilterns Group were looking forward with great
anticipation to the return of Timothy Walker Head of the Oxford Botanic
Gardens, who this year was to talk on A Rockery in the Garden. The
rockery he was talking about was the one at the Botanic Gardens in
Oxford, which was being rebuilt. This was somewhat larger than the
average rockery that most of us would have. The original rockery was
laid out just after the First World War and has been replaced in the
past, but it was decided that it needed to be revamped again. It is now
completed and full of exciting new plants based on ideas of how rockery
plants can look in the wild.
talk with some wonderful slides looked at plants in their natural
habitats around the world. One place that Timothy was particular
passionate about was the Burren in County Claire on the west coast of
Southern Ireland. The Burren is effectively a massive rockery, all one
hundred square miles of it with an enormous variety of plants. He also
showed inhospitable rock outcrops where small plants managed to grow
with seemingly no nourishment.
possible plants that could be found and are now available in our garden
centres was amazingly varied. It even included a tiny lonicera periclymenum
which was just two or three inches high. Plants varied from ferns,
bright blue gentian, geranium sanguineum, to lichens, showing how
wonderful and varied nature can be.
talk was followed by refreshments and wine and everyone agreed it was
yet another really enjoyable talk by Timothy Walker.