Brian Ellis suffers from a malady common to many gardeners. He sees a plant he likes and can’t help getting more in the same family and before you know it he has got himself a collection. He told Ticknall Garden Club about his obsession at its April meeting!
He has three national collections but he doesn’t limit himself to these as there are many other plants he cannot resist. His wide range of lovely photographs illustrated how he came to fall for just a selection of his favourite plants. He has an artistic background and was once a knitwear designer. This was apparent in his use of planting in garden design as one plant weaves seemlessly into another in the borders at varying heights.
His national collection of sanguisorbas are useful for their floating flower heads and geums give an airy delicacy in their newly developed range of colours. The electric blue of eryngiums with eye catching spiky foliage and dazzling colours of crocosmia add interest to a border.
His national collection of aster novae-angliae provide colour and attraction for butterflies and the showiness of phlox paniculata give strong focal points. He waxed lyrical about his national collection of wood anemones whose delicacy and colour in a woodland setting are unbeatable.
While not all gardeners can indulge their interest in plants to the same degree as Brian Ellis, mainly because of lack of space, many have a jolly good try! He brought with him a fine range of tempting goodies from his Avondale Nursery near Coventry and true to form the keen audience succumbed to buying yet more for their own modest collections.