Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Garden news from Topsham Museum

Topsham Museum
Photo credit: Mike Smith

"'Secret Gardens of Topsham’ is going to be even better this year," promises Friend of Fairlynch Margaret Wilson.

Margaret, who heads the team of gardeners at Topsham Museum, has been busy planning this popular event which takes place on Sunday 10 June 2012 as well as being involved in setting up Fairlynch's 'Survival!' exhibition.

Tropaeolum speciosum, a form of nasturtium, seen growing here at The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum
Photo credit: Scott Zona

"There will be 15 gardens to visit - more than ever before," she says. "Most of them haven’t been open before, and they'll be open for longer, from noon this time till 6.00 pm, giving people more time to fit in as many as possible. The Museum is very grateful to the owners for generously opening their gardens."

'Secret Gardens' is a major fund-raising event for Topsham Museum, which like Fairlynch is run entirely by volunteers. The Museum has two gardens - one alongside the building itself and the Riverside garden on the other side of the road which is also open to the public at any time.

Illustration of Berberidopsis corallina by William Jackson Hooker in Curtis's botanical magazine, 1862

In the late 19th century the famous plant collector Arthur Veitch unloaded his foreign plant collections at Topsham quay and his name became synonymous with nursery gardening in the Exeter area.  

Caradoc Doy, Exeter-based horticulturalist and Veitch historian

"We showcase some of his plants in the Riverside garden and these will be explained by Caradoc Doy, an expert on Veitch and exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show, who will be in the garden on June 10th," says Margaret.  "If you watched the Gardeners' World programme about Chelsea recently you would have seen a lengthy interview with Caradoc at Killerton about Veitch." 

Flowers of Kolkwitzia amabilis, known as the Beauty Bush
Photo credit: KENPEI

Visitors to the Topsham Museum event are warned that parking could be difficult and are advised to travel by bus or train.  Programmes are on sale at £4 per person and are available from Topsham News, Mortimore’s, Auntie Julie’s Sweetshop, Route2 and the Museum Shop. Children under 12 will be free.  Programmes can also be purchased for £5 on the day from the Quay or at any of the open gardens.

Pictured above are some of the plants introduced to this country by Arthur Veitch and stocked by Caradoc Day at http://www.caradocdoy.co.uk/

For more information about Topsham Museum click on http://www.devonmuseums.net/Topsham-Museum/Devon-Museums/

This post is an expanded version of http://www.devonmuseums.net/Garden-news-from-Topsham-Museum/Latest-News/Fairlynch-Museum/Museum-News/

1 comment:

  1. Have found your site following from a pleasant visit to the museum on Saturday, (delicious cake!) I do hope that you will repeat the open gardens event next year and if so will let me know the date.

    We have a scaffolding tower - one of the most useful things that we have bought. I hope that you concentrate and don't play around too much when you are on it!