Garden visits, Dumfries and Galloway 24-28 June, 2018
On the warm, sunny afternoon of Sunday 24 June, 48 MPG members, variously arriving by train and car, gathered at the Cally Palace Hotel, Gatehouse of Fleet, an imposing Georgian mansion. Those who had arrived early enough made their way to the Cally Gardens Nursery which has recently been bought by RHS Gold Medal winner and committee member, Kevin Hughes, a plant hunter, who previously had a nursery in Wiltshire.
The nursery was typical of the large walled kitchen gardens that provided houses of the size of Cally House with fruit, vegetables and cut flowers, and contains a number of hot houses and cold frames, most of which have fallen into disrepair, as well as modern-day polytunnels . Since 1987 it had been owned by the plantsman Michael Wickenden, who tragically died plant hunting in Myanmar in 2016. Kevin hopes to expand the collection with his own unusual perennials and hardy plants. He readily admitted that he had taken on a huge project, hampered by listed status and bureaucracy, but determination and hard work seem in abundance.
Returning to the hotel in good time, members assembled in the conference room at 6pm for the AGM, details of which may be found in the Members’ Forum area of the website.