Few nurseries hold quite the allure for the certified plant nut as Crûg Farm Nursery in Wales. Alas, they do not ship to the US so if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, etc., etc. A visit with Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones of Crûg Farms was one of the primary purposes of my trip to the UK and if I had realized quite what an education their garden and greenhouses would be, I would have scheduled a few more days to spend there poking into all the corners.
Bleddyn and Sue have spent the past years traveling the world collecting unusual plants and making them available to the public. They have discovered quite a few new species and introduced even more to cultivation. They have concentrated on a wide swath of genera including hardy Schefflera and Daphniphyllum, 2 groups I was especially keen to get my hands on to trial at the JC Raulston Arboretum and of course I found myself unable to resist some of their Sarcococca and the incredible collection of woodland lilies - Disporum, Polygonatum, and Maianthemum.
Bleddyn spent the better part of 2 days showing me through the greenhouses and teasing me with plants I either can't bring into the US or with plants that he wouldn't part with yet. He concentrates on wild collected plants and doesn't share my love of variegated plants but still wouldn't give me cuttings of his Schefflera taiwaniana variegated sport. If anyone reads this and manages to get a piece of that plant - I've got dibs on your first propagules!
The garden is situated on top of an old Roman lookout near the coast along a road that has been used since the earliest days in Wales. Bleddyn tells me crûg translates to something like overlook and showed me the old Roman site where sentries used to camp now covered by huge rhododendron and other woody plants. The garden is still growing and has recently been expanded onto the ruins of an old stone barn that suffered a fire but is now providing structure for vines and a backdrop for trees and shrubs.
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