Colin Crosbie – “Shady Characters”

Mike Snowden with Colin Crosbie

Mike Snowden with Colin Crosbie

Thanks to the kind invitation of the Alpine Garden Society, Northern members had the opportunity to enjoy a lecture by Colin Crosbie on ‘Shady Characters’ on the afternoon of Saturday 21st January. It was entertaining and informative, full of useful recommendations for good ‘doers’ in shade, whether dappled or deep which, as he pointed out, is essentially what most of us on the island of Ireland enjoy most of the time. His plants ranged from bulbs and herbaceous plants through to shrubs and trees; some of the main genera included Arisaema, Epimedium, and Roscoea while ferns, lilies and hellebores were also well represented.

Mac Dunlop, the Vice Chairman of the Ulster Group of the Alpine Garden Society, talking to Victor Henry

Mac Dunlop, the Vice Chairman of the Ulster Group of the Alpine Garden Society, talking to Victor Henry

Viv Kirk and Barbara Kelso

Viv Kirk and Barbara Kelso

Nick Macer in Northern Ireland

Recently 70 IGPS members and friends were wowed with ideas for new plants for their gardens by Nick Macer of Pan-Global Plants when he spoke at Antrim Old Courthouse. Even better, almost all the plants he talked about were relatively hard and capable of surviving our winters outdoors.

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Nick Macer with Neal Porteous and Victor Henry at Mount Stewart Gardens.

Nick Macer with Victor Henry looking at some of the wonderful plants at Mount Stewart recently

Nick Macer with Victor Henry looking at some of the wonderful plants at Mount Stewart recently

Nick was himself wowed by a visit to Mount Stewart where he was shown round by Neil Porteous, the Head of Gardens there; Victor Henry and Maeve Bell were lucky enough to accompany them. We saw fabulous autumn colour combinations in the Italian Garden, the autumn hues of the Sunk Garden, rare and unusual specimens including the tall, multi-headed Cordyline indivisa, and the new collections of ferns and Rhododendron maddenii.

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Text and photographs from Maeve Bell.