England really is a nation of gardeners.  This lovely vignette was on the end of a building on what looked to be a working farm in rural Yorkshire. July 21, 2013

It’s always great to be in the UK where gardening seems to be a national pastime.  In fact, while driving south along the east coast of Scotland I was treated to a radio DJ on a pop station interviewing a gardener about why her job was so satisfying.  It’s hard to imagine that conversation on the typical zany morning radio show in the US.

So radio aside, I’m in the UK on a whirlwind tour to reconnect with friends and visit new gardens and nurseries.  My UK friends questioned my sanity when they saw my itinerary but I couldn’t find anything to cut.

In order to truly be cosmopolitan on my visit, I’ll hit Scotland, England and Wales on this trip so I’ll get to see a bit of all three countries that make up Great Britain (Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland is the 4th country that makes up The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

My trip starts in Scotland at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and then to England for a visit to the Yorkshire Arboretum to see the delightful John Grimshaw, author and plantsman extraordinaire, a trip into Wales to Crûg Farms to visit with Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones, down to check out the national collection of aucuba, Pan-Global Nursery, Junker’s Nursery, Evolution Plants, and finally a stop to see Roy Lancaster and the Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum again.  It’s an ambitious schedule to be sure but strong tea, insatiable plant lust, and fantastic fellow plantsmen (and women!) will keep me moving.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Who needs privacy fences when you have hedges like this?