The picture doesn’t remotely do it justice, but this is the Crûg Farm stand in the Great Pavilion: winner of a Gold Medal and the President’s Award.
I’d heard how good Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones’s nursery was, but I never realised just how good.
I’d already set aside a separate visit to the Pavilion just so I could concentrate on their stand: but then I met Bleddyn and he showed me around it, and I filled three pages of my notebook with excited scribbles I suspect I may never be able to read again, and filled my camera with shots of plants I particularly adored, and coveted every single plant on the stand. I was there for ages and still want to go back again.
This was among the plants which really made my mouth water: Paris lancifolia, collected on one of Bleddyn and Sue’s many trips to Taiwan (Paris has a reputation for being tricky to establish but top tip from the team: they don’t like being disturbed. Leave it completely alone, have patience and it’ll grow).
Bleddyn told me they find around 500 new plants a year in various far-flung places (they’re off to Korea this year) which they think might be worth introducing to the UK: it used to be much more, he said. They have a hotline to the botanists at Kew, and the RHS sends someone up to their nursery in north Wales each year from the Plantfinder to keep up with their prodigious output.
I came away with beautiful plants dancing before my eyes, a coveted mail order list and a map to their nursery: a pilgrimage to North Wales may be imminent.