Discover the Gardens at Greenway

Discover the beautiful Greenway Gardens and their success at the RHS Spring Flower Show

In early March Greenway National Trust once again entered the RHS Early Spring Flower Show on behalf of Greenway garden. There’s a tradition of Greenway entering flower shows which began with Agatha Christie herself, ably assisted by a well-known local gardener Jeff, who worked at Greenway for 50 years. In this tradition, the team have entered the RHS spring shows for the last couple of years, where we’ve learned lots, had lots of fun, and been awarded lots of awards. This year was no exception, and we came away with 14 prizes all together.

Our winning strategy when it comes to showcasing camellias is to leave the flower on the plant until the bloom is fully open. This is a risky tactic; we could pick them earlier and keep them in the glass houses for a couple of days in the hope that they flower in time, or leave them on the plant and keep our fingers crossed that they don’t get damaged by the wind and the rain. Our decision to leave them to open fully on the plant this year paid off, and had our pick of perfect blooms. The camellias only flower for a few weeks, and we have worked hard over the years to make sure that our collection is healthy and stunning.

The show this year was in the library and learning centre at Rosemoor, and being inside with the heating on was great for the gardeners but the plants did suffer. Many displays started to wilt, so it was turned off and doors opened. The judges are looking for flowers which have no blemishes, an even colour, symmetrical petals and a full round shape, so every care is taken to make sure the ones that we’ve grown to those standards are looking their best by the time the judges are examining them.

All of the hard work paid off when we were awarded 14 prizes: five 1st places, four 2nd and five 3rd out of a total of 17 entries. We had time while we were at Rosemoor to have a look around and treat ourselves to lunch, and we’re looking forward to visiting again in April for the RHS Garden Show.

BBC Spotlight got wind of our success and came to film a short feature on Monday, 13 March. They filmed for about three hours, and we had about 3 minutes on the 6.30pm news. It was a beautifully sunny day so perfect for showing off the camellias. We have hundreds on site, not only in the Camellia Garden but all over. Just walking down the driveway takes you past a selection of our prize winners.

While the garden is filled with spring blooms we’re giving free spring flower tours every day at 2pm. A member of the team leads the walk through the garden, sharing some of the best plants to see at this time of year, the history of the garden and the work that we do to keep it thriving.

Colin Clark, Senior Gardener, Greenway

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway or 01803 842382 to book a parking space for Greenway

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