Alpine Garden Society

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Tony Goode - A Room With A View (09/05/2014)

Pulsatilla alpina apiifolia Tony showed us Switzerland as he has explored it over the years, staying in a range of accommodation, as near to the plants as he can. These were self built holidays using public transport. He showed us several of the idyllic views from his rooms up in the mountains. Sometimes the places were quite rustic but usually with the wild on his doorstep. He would stay somewhere for several nights and spend the days exploring, even going back out after dinner for an evening stroll.

The scenery was very dramatic. Towering mountains over small “chocolate box” villages nestled in valley bottoms. Tony is keen to photograph the plants artistically in their habitat. Quite often he was there as the snow retreated and everything was coming into bloom. He showed us many of the more common sights like Gentiana verna and Ranunculus alpestris in profusion. There were several photographs of Pulsatillas perched in rocks with views of the mountains behind. Primulas featured frequently from the P. auricula types to P. hirsuta and P. integrifolia. There were some lovely oddities like Pedicularis oederi which has dark brown tops to the yellow blooms. He had come across a number of orchids and Lloydia serotina, a white flowered bulb with lovely dark veining, also found in Snowdonia. There was an enticing shot of Phyteuma hemisphericum with very blue flower heads on short stems. The Globularias he showed were flowering beautifully which they often don’t do in the garden. They do seem to need the heat of rocks to flower well.

We were also introduced to several fascinating caterpillars and beautiful butterflies, mixed in amongst the plants. Tony also showed us the differences in plants growing on limestone compared to nearby acidic rock outcrops.

Overall it was an entertaining time and a pleasure to be his host.

Gillian Ingram
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