Thursday, 5 August 2010

Garden Visit: "Garden Organic" Ryton

Our nephew's wedding in August required a long journey across country so as the weather was decent I chose a route which took me past the Garden Organic site near Coventry. Formerly the Henry Doubleday Research Association, the work done by Lawrence Hills in the early days of the organic movement has been hugely important and this is a garden I've wanted to visit for many years.

This is not the manicured parkland of Harlow Carr and the volunteers and staff run Ryton on a pittance compared to the budgets that the RHS can provide. August is not the best time to see many gardens, plants are starting to go to seed, the season is getting tired, and sadly this was true of Ryton. The design is "bitty", lots of very distinct areas each individually fenced and floating in a large expanse of grass. However, the separate sections do work well to illustrate different principles and this is primarily an area for education, something I believe the site does very well.  It deserves far more funding and publicity than it receives but as the commercial interests of agro-chemical companies are not served by the aims of places like this it will take an apocalyptic collapse of the curent order before sufficient recognition is given to the fact that we have to work WITH the planet, rather than against it.  Rant over, on with the pretty pictures.

More willow screen:

Some really interesting features - a sun clock would be fun:

Saved the best until last. For me, the crowning glory of the whole site was the Biodynamic Garden. Not only did the plants in this area look bigger, healthier, more lush and dare I say "happier" than in any other part of the site, but there was an energy to this little section which I can't describe or explain.

This picture doesn't even begin to convey the feeling inside this circular space.   You need to visit to experience it for yourself.  

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