Plants For The Connoisseur by Simon Gulliver

For our August meeting we welcomed Simon Gulliver who is one of the garden advisers to the National Trust.  Simon specialises in the management of plant collections and advises on the conservation of historic gardens.

The presentation included a selection of horticultural wonders, looking at the various shapes of plants, types of flowers and leaf colourings and structures.

We were shown the type of plants that create Winter interest such as the snake bark acers, and an array of scents and flowers that will amaze during this generally bleaker season.  Simon mentioned amongst others the scent of the Chimonanthus Praecox tree.  We heard about shrubs with a difference such as the chocolate scented Azara Serrata, an evergreen native to Chile, and the gorgeous flowers of the Buddleija Colvilei that originates in the Himalayas.


There were tips on how to create a unique and stunning rock garden, and which plants to use where shade is prevalent.

The Candyfloss tree with its scent of burnt sugar would be a woodland delight for certain, and also the Magnolia Wilsonii with its scent of lemon and orange blossoms.

Simon discussed the Classy Climbers such as the beautiful Passiflora Caerulea, known as the Passion Flower, and the wonderful Lady Bank’s Rose.

Thank you to Simon for this eye opening presentation bringing an added awareness for these very special plants.