Last weekend I had the chance to visit Malvern in Worcestershire before hosting the Plant Heritage Members’ day at Bodenham Aboretum and we chanced upon Picton Garden at Old Court Nurseries who keep a National Collection of Michealmas Daisies. The Gardens are beautiful but the main attraction at this time of the year are the Asters and Symphyotrichum novi-belgii in so many forms and colours.
Old Court Nurseries was established by Ernest Ballard in 1906 and he was one of the first nurserymen to specialise in breeding Asters, devoting 50 years to doing so. His work was carried on by Percy Picton, who purchased the nursery in 1956 and since then this has been a family business with 3 generations of Pictons involved.
The Picton garden wase also bursting with colour and showed helpful planting combinations for Asters and more.
The nursery has over 400 different varieties of Michalemas Daisy which are like jewels in a the autumn border at this time of year. The range is extraordinary.
The following day I joined the Plant Heritage tour of Bodenham Arboretum, near Kiddiminster whether there was stunning colour once again.
Bodenham is also a family run affair, having been founded by David Binnian family in 1973. The Arboretum and attached farm are now run by his son James, who gave us a guided tour whilst James’s son Sam runs the visitor centre.
After the tour we enjoyed hot soup and hot farm-raised turkey baguettes in the visitor centre beside the lake followed by a fascinating talk by John Grimshaw about the Yorkshire Arborteum, which holds National Colections of Picea and Abies. October is a great month to visit Arboretums and we have a number of National Collections of trees so why not take a trip next weekend?