A press pack has just arrived in our post box, detailing the events and themes for this autumn’s Journees des Plantes at Courson, south of Paris.
Two plant shows are held at the Chateau de Courson each year, prestigious events drawing amateur and professional gardeners and horticulturists from all over Europe, both to visit and to exhibit.
It is a highlihght of our gardening year and this year we have been invited to speak to the members of the International Camellia Society and the RHS Camellia, Magnolia and Rhodoendron Group on the Friday evening. Our theme is to be gardening and garden design in France, looking in particular at the annual GardenFestival at Chaumont.
Each year we limit ourselves on the amount of plants we can buy at Courson and every year I regret not buying so many beautiful things. In the days when we were building £100,000 gardens for a living a few plants here or there hardly registered on our budget. These days we have to watch our pennies a little more carefully!
Last year we bought our first Lagerstroemia indica, from the master of the genus, Demartis of Bergerac. We chose the variety Yang Tse, a family reminder that my Grandmother and Grandfather lived alongside the river of the same name, when he was architect to Shanghai Municipal Council prior to and during the invation of China by Japan.
This plant suffered during its first winter but is now a healthy bush, covered with flower buds which are just starting to open.
A Mimosa bought at the same time did not survive the cold; an appeal for a replacement from the nursery resulted in a letter telling me off for not looking after it! Caveat emptor!