SEP 09 GARDENING GALORE
By Peter Davidson
Members of the Hunstanton Gardeners Association recently went bananas when they explored an exotic jungle not a million miles from Hunstanton…in fact in Norwich! Near Norwich railway station and located on the side of a sheltered, south-facing hill to provide an equable micro-climate, Will Giles has created a tropical Eden full of plants you wouldn’t expect to see anywhere else in England. The garden is quite unique in that the upper part is given over to cacti, agaves, and similar succulent plants one would normally find in the Arizona desert, while the lower section replicates a jungle full of bananas, ginger plants, palms and huge specimens of house plants we usually try to grow at home on our window sills.
Will Giles explained to the Association members during this private visit, that he created the garden following visits to India and Asia in the mid 1980’s when he had been fired with the desire to reproduce in this country some of the wonderful exotic plantings he had seen on his Asian tours. To complete the picture, an elegant tree house in a massive oak tree hovers among the palms and provides a treetop view over the garden; this is no ordinary tree-house, as it resembles a well furnished sitting-room complete with sofas, chairs and tables and all mod-cons arranged around the huge boughs of the tree.
Back on the ground, and refreshed after tea and biscuits, the members made their way to the plant sales area where several hopefuls purchased some delightful sub-tropical plants with the expectation of giving their own gardens in Hunstanton a touch of exotica. This is what makes gardeners such an optimistic lot…..the constant struggle against all the odds to grow certain plants that in their heart-of-hearts they know stand as much chance of success as a snowball in hell! Time alone will tell whether any of the members will be successful with their purchases, but everyone agreed that their visit to the Exotic Garden was absolutely fascinating and extremely enjoyable.
The lecture season for the forthcoming winter period starts next month with a talk on patio gardening and gardening in small places, and will be held on 15th October at 7.30pm in the Hunstanton Community Centre. Anyone wishing to join the Hunstanton Gardeners Association should contact the Membership Secretary, Mrs Canny Jones, telephone 01485 535034.