UK Travel 2013 – Part 6, Crûg Farm Nursery

The display gardens around the nursery would set any botanic garden to shame with rare plants displayed in a beautiful setting.

The display gardens around the nursery would set any botanic garden to shame with rare plants displayed in a beautiful setting.

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.

Part of the nursery where liners and herbaceous plants are grown.

Part of the nursery where liners and herbaceous plants are grown.

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.

The gorgeous foliage of Acer tonkinense subsp. liquidambarifolium is drool-worthy but unfortunately regulations prohited me from bringing it to the US.

The gorgeous foliage of Acer tonkinense subsp. liquidambarifolium is drool-worthy but unfortunately regulations prohited me from bringing it to the US.

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!

Bleddyn's generosity stopped at the variegated sport of S. taiwaniana.

Bleddyn’s generosity stopped at the variegated sport of S. taiwaniana.

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.

The hospitality of Bleddyn and Sue was even better than their plants.

The hospitality of Bleddyn and Sue was even better than their plants.

The incredible fruit stalk of Maianthemum flexuosum.

The incredible fruit stalk of Maianthemum flexuosum.

Liners of a potentially new genus from Taiwan tentatively named Uocodendron whartonii that resembles the Chinese Disanthus longipes.

Liners of a potentially new genus from Taiwan tentatively named Uocodendron whartonii that resembles the Chinese Disanthus longipes.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Plants from all over the world populate the garden.

Plants from all over the world populate the garden.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s