Thursday, 21 March 2013

NGS Garden Visit : Moorbank Botanical Gardens, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

First garden visit of the year, and as coincidence would have it, it was in my home city. Moorbank is owned by Newcastle University as a private facility, but opens for e NGS several times a year.

The gardens are made up of two areas - the green houses and an open air area. I went with my sister and the Intrepid Baby. After a minor mystery tour finding the place, and then another to find somewhere to park we made our way through to the entrance and coughed up our entry fee. Our first challenge of the day became immediately evident - the walkways were only just wide enough to get a buggy down, and woe betide anyone wanting to get past us in the other direction. Nevermind, obviously the place was never designed to cope with buggies, so we just had to try and manage.

It was decided that the path of least resistance would probably be to start outside. This area was beautiful. Big drifts of snowdrops carpeted the floor under several clumps of trees, and clumps of lovely burgundy and white hellebores were dotted around. There was a pond where there were activities laid on for kids, and also the expected array of fairly empty looking beds that were obviously waiting for the currently out of season planting to do its thing.

We tried briefly to tackle the inside area, but gave up fairly quickly. My sister kindly kept an eye on that baby while I had a quick scurry around and bought a few plants. (Three very nice pulmonaria officianali for those that are interested . The greenhouses looked very interesting from what I saw, with lots of cacti, succulents and other tender stuff. I'll have to make sure I have a proper look next time.

All that was left to deal with was the all important cake. It was good cake.

A short but sweet visit, but one that has left me wanting to go back. Possibly without the buggy... These gardens are under threat of closure, so if you're in the area on one of the open days, I'd urge you to spend the few pounds entry fee and go and show your support.

One of my pulmonarias