Hopefully those of you who are reading this already know Marwood Hill Gardens – renowned locally for their beautiful Gardens and tasty tearoom. The Gardens are also home to an abundance of gorgeous and colourful plants and flowers, including four National Collections.
This year decided to take one of those National Collections, Astilbes, all the way to Hampton Court Flower Show, and it is a good job we did, as we won. TWICE!
Our beautiful and colourful volcano of Astilbes was awarded not only a RHS Gold Medal, but also the Best Plant Heritage Exhibit by the judges.
Marwood Hill Gardens Collection of Astilbes started in 1990, and today is one of the largest collections anywhere in the world. With visits to Holland and Germany to seek out “lost” cultivars, and developing contacts in Latvia and Russia, our collection has grown to over 200 different species and cultivars (and is still growing).
Malcolm Pharoah, Marwood’s retired head gardener (and still a full-time volunteer and wonderman!) oversaw the running and execution of the display at Hampton Court Flower Show which won. It is no small feat and has taken many months of hard work and preparation, with staff and volunteers alike involved with the set-up, planning and preparation, as well as the running of the plant stall during the show. It is only the second time in Marwood’s history that we have ever exhibited Astilbes at such a large and prestigious event.
Malcolm has tirelessly dedicated himself to the propagation, care and promotion of Astilbes and his commitment has certainly paid off – Malcolm was awarded the prestigious Plant Heritage Brickell Award in 2020. Malcolm will also be celebrating 50 years at Marwood later this year, and what a way to celebrate!
Astilbes flower from Mid-June until early September, but generally look at their best in July. They can grow in a range of soil types, and contrary to popular belief many Astilbes will fare well in drier and shadier conditions than first thought, so if you are interested in purchasing one, don’t despair there will be a suitable Astilbe for your garden!