Saturday, 8th February 2020
SOME LIKE IT HOT by ANNIE GODFREY
Annie Godfrey's nursery, 'Daisy Roots', in Hertford specialises in hardy perennials and grasses. She has won Gold Medals at both Chelsea and Hampton Court for her drought tolerant displays.
Annie explained the varied methods by which plants adapt to survive in drought conditions. Pictures of two well known dry gardens, at Beth Chatto's and Hyde Hall showed plants such as Lavender and Santolina growing in low humps which protects from wind and with small leaves to reduce transpiration.
A covering of white hairs reflect the sun's rays A good example of this is Salvia argentea with leaves smothered in cuddly fur. A waxy bloom reduces water loss and succulents store water to use in case of drought. Some Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, fennel and sage have oils in their leaves which burn fast and enables them to regenerate following a fire. Root systems are another drought buster so bulbs are generally dormant during the hottest weather and deep rooted plants such as Verbascums can access water from low down.
We were treated to lovely pictures of plantings in Annie's own garden and in those of her clients. Each picture included a useful list of the featured plants and Annie gave details of planting and care.
It is hard to imagine that we will need drought tolerant plants after the excessively wet winter we have endured but this is what climate change threatens and Annie's talk enthused us all with the wonderful variety of suitable plants.