|Staphylea holocarpa 'Rosea' - one of the plants we purchased,|
our plant has plenty of flowerbuds already.
Perfect timing though, not that we were planning to do some gardening yesterday but rather we opted to take the time to drive up to Ashby de la Zouch to visit and collect a few plants I've had my eye on at the Bluebell Nursery.
Bluebell Nursery, with its rather misleading name, is actually an award winning, family run nursery that specialises in trees and shrubs. Many of their plants are rare and unusual, and a large selection of them were introductions from abroad by various plant hunters through the years. And as explained to us during the day, they don't actually sell Bluebell bulbs, nor do they have swathes of them in their arboretum in the spring, but the name was derived after the 'Bluebell Pub' which was the original access way to their first site many years ago. And they were also one of the first nurseries to buy their own domain name 'bluebellnursery.com', hence the name had to stick.
Knowing that this nursery actually specialises in rare and unusual trees and shrubs, I was really looking forward to visiting them, thinking of all the goodies I could find there!!
Now, as most of their plants are deciduous during the winter (and it is still winter here), the photos I've taken won't do this nursery justice as most of what you'll see are leafless stems and branches in pots, grouped neatly together in their polytunnels. For such a type of place, a visit in the spring or summer is much more recommended when the specimens are all in leaf and it'll be better to check out the plants properly before you buy them. But with a bit of know how, and a clue to what you want to buy before you visit, then purchasing whilst a plant is deciduous shouldn't be a problem. And being a friendly, family run nursery that do most of the propping themselves, they are very knowledgeable of the plants they sell, and the plant sales area is neatly arranged, which gives you confidence that whatever you're buying is the real deal and correctly labelled even if it is still leafless.
|Hedera pastuchovii 'Ann Ala' - an Ivy collected by Roy Lancaster in the Caucasus region, and named after his friend, the late Ann Ala. A gorgeous Ivy that looks more like an aroid than your typical Hedera.|
|Viburnum rhytidophyllum 'Variegata' - proof that variegated plants are not to everyone's taste, they've had this for years and they say that I'm the very first one to actually ask for it. The photo doesn't do it justice, it looks much nicer in person|
|Aesculus pavia 'Koehnei' - beautiful form even when leafless|