I mentioned in my last post that not many of the plants in the Palm House at Torre Abbey in Torquay had labels. Of course the one I fell in love with was one of those without identification.
Trouble is, I want it. I really want it.
Now those of you with a delicate disposition had better look away, as I’m about to show you quite the most eye-popping and frankly embarrassing seed capsules I’ve ever seen.
In case you wanted a closer gawp at those…
You can look again now. Here’s a more calming photo of the leaves.
It was about 5ft high or so, and multi-stemmed – a sort of loose clump, I suppose. I am deeply smitten, so if anyone out there knows what it is and can introduce me, I will be eternally grateful.
That’s Fawlty Towers, kiss-me-quick hats, blokes with knotted handkerchiefs on their heads and deckchairs, right?
It’s the proud home of quite the best municipal planting I’ve ever seen. VP – you should get down there and take some pics for that OOTS strand of yours asap.
We’ve just come back from a little break there: I won’t bore you too much with what we got up to, though we did find a hotel John Cleese would have been proud of to stay in.
Instead I shall just introduce you to the Palm House at Torre Abbey. The head gardener – employed, take note, by the Torbay Council’s Parks Department – is career changer Ali Marshall, who used to be something in business administration but for the last year (only a year?!) has taken the helm at Torre Abbey. And my goodness, is she an inspired plantswoman.
It’s a small garden, but there’s a lot packed in. A dahlia border so densely-planted I mistook it for a rose garden from a distance; a cactus house with three-foot-across hummocks; palms a go-go and a bank of cannas. There was even a recently-planted Agatha Christie garden which owed a great deal to the Poison Garden at Alnwick but with a sleuthing twist.
But it was the recently-restored (as is everything at Torre Abbey, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, gawd bless ’em) 1960s Palm House which stole the show for me. There weren’t many labels so I gave up trying to identify everything in the end and just marvelled.
You wouldn’t believe it’s a public garden run by the Parks Department, would you? Talk about showing everyone else how it’s done…