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Kent Diary Discussion: 28 April 2016

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Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 03 May 2016, 16:34. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from John Richards 02 May 2016, 09:13top / bottom of page

I enjoyed your visit to Waterperry, Tim. Six years ago I visited a month earlier in the year (in a more advanced season I guess) and reported at some length in 'Northumberland Diary, 143'. One or two of the photos are roughly comparable with yours and show how plantings have matured over six years.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 03 May 2016, 08:05top / bottom of page

Thanks John - it really deserves a much closer look, as do the Diary entries over time. I find one of the most valuable things is to see how things change and develop, the emphasis really being on the latter because it is obvious how much can be learnt from the collection at Waterperry and Adrian's descriptions of it, and it is marvellous to see the plants grown so well. Gillian recently found a description of another plant, Origanum 'Emma Stanley' on Paul Cumbleton's Wisley log, a fantastic plant growing on the rock garden at Wisley, but talking to Paul on Saturday at Exeter he said that a good number of established plants like this had been removed with the overall revamp of the rock garden there. Just made me wonder; why? I like to think these Diary entries have a value because of their personal nature and because now this way of sharing knowledge and information via the Internet has become all pervasive, and using the connections that it enables works in the same way that science works - via reference to the work of others, and experiment/experience, you can build an ongoing understanding. It may be completely politically incorrect to say this but this is why I find so much more stimulation from people conversing on the SRGC Forum and on Facebook than I do here on the AGS website, and I do sometimes wonder why we don't talk more openly here? That is the essence of any Society really, and it can come across on a website very simply. There will be a majority of alpine gardeners who are not intimately involved with the AGS and the ethic of displaying plants, either by choice or simply geographical or personal restrictions, but they can be involved via a website like this. (On the other hand I know from talking to friends how much the 'encyclopaedic' details of plants here is of value, so from that perspective the website probably works very well. Gardening is more than an Encylopaedia though).

Contribution from Tim Ingram 03 May 2016, 16:34top / bottom of page

Just had a look at your 2010 Diary entry John. I agree the labelling is tricky, using the planting plans above, but Adrian obviously has a good and solid record of the plants, as is clear from the Porophyllum Saxifrage page on Facebook. He has also produced 'Saxifrages. Porophyllum Cultivars. Complete Checklist', as the Registrar of this group of plants, so all that is needed is a photograph with each entry (he says a little tongue in cheek!). Probably what would be valuable is a student helper who could be involved with labelling, propagating and observing the collection. There are other Saxifragaceae as well, though not a great number, and that could be a good project for Waterperry to invest in in collaboration with the Saxifrage Society and these present collections.

It is hidden away from view - which reminds me of the AGS a little - and when we first went and asked about the collection the person we asked in the shop at Waterperry didn't know anything about it! This is a shame considering the history of Waterperry and Valerie Finnis' involvement there, and the role of alpine plants in past times. 

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