Report from my 'green' trip (Belfast area)
Just got back from our all too short trip from the Belfast area, and just had to report.
First I saw some wonderful (private) gardens in the Belfast area but also all along the road. I simply love the 'natural' (cottage) look of the gardens, the wonderful mixture of stone walls, treillis, white fences.. and against on ocean background, it is simply .. unforgettable. I also love the use of annuals (too many gardeners in our area seem to exclude annuals), such as cosmos, cleomes, calendulas, snapdragons, china asters, dahlias, annual clary sage 'Marble Arch', just to name a few. As for perennials, the hydrangeas (paniculata in particular), colorful phlox, clematis, and along the coast 'policeman's helmet' were stunning.
As for the recommendations for nurseries, I want to thank you for your suggestions. I visited 3 of the suggested nurseries (Hidden Gardens near Belfast), Fieldstone and Longfellow near Augusta). Hidden Garden was my favorite: great prices, and very healthy looking plants--which, at the end of the season, really tells a lot about the care they receive! Got 6 plants there, and would have bought more if I had had more time (owners were anxious to resume their watering, and my husband was waiting..) I love the 'setting' of Fieldstone, but their plants were expensive, and many of their plants were .. let's say 'dormant'. Some of them just had annuals (impatiens or others) or weeds growing in the pots. I guess this is not the best time to see a nursery.. Among the plants I had on my 'wish list', I got a Nepeta 'souvenir d'AndrÃ© Chaudron', a Tiarella 'Cygnet', a Lobelia Shiphilitica (blue lobelia), a Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata), and a Red Husker's Penstemon...
Anyway, a great trip (and the weather was perfect)!!! Thank you very much again for your suggestions, Maine_ Gardener', 'Silver Queen', 'Veilchen'. Surry Gardens is at the top of my list for our next trip, Silver Queen, and this time we'll visit Castine Island, Stonington-Blue Hill area!!
Anne-Marie (Albany, NY)