Southport Flower show 2017 – awarded a GOLD medal

The theme was ‘The Curious Garden’

I have heard it said that most people are remarkably incurious. Is that true of gardeners? Over the centuries curiosity about plants has resulted in their uses for cooking, dyeing fabrics and all importantly, for healing. A visit to a Physic Garden, such as in Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan opens one’s eyes to the vast range of herbal plants. Research continues today. Certain varieties of daffodils produce Galantamine, used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s whilst Taxol used in the treatment of certain cancers is obtained from the yew. Charles Darwin not only produced his theory of evolution, his curiosity also recognised the importance of earthworms as detailed in his classic work on the subject in 1881.

But what about a curious garden, something to be discovered, explored and bewildered by? How have we in the Cottage Garden Society interpreted this? The winding path leads visitors to a door in an old wall. What is behind the door? In the corner is a grotto guarded by a little wizened old man. What secrets is he hiding? The herbalist’s desk is cluttered with his instruments and materials. What is he discovering? Could it be salicylic acid (aspirin) from the willow in the garden?

Finally you may ask why the colour scheme in green and white when cottage gardens are often brim-full of colour. Why indeed?