A spring visit to Japan

Duncan after judging the competition

At our April meeting we welcomed Duncan Coombs standing in for Howard Drury who hopes to be with us later this year when he is fully recovered. Duncan’s very engaging talk took us on a beautifully illustrated Spring Trip to Japan away from our dreary British rain, visiting the main island Honshu with wild volcanic areas as well as botanic and cultivated gardens. Some of the plants were familiar to us although in completely different settings, and others would be defeated by our climate.

Rosalie’s camellia

The trip covered both modern and historic settings, from cultivated cherry blossoms in Tokyo to wild magnolias and azaleas, via tranquil gardens of Zen Buddhism in Kyoto and temples set in carefully landscaped gardens, with reflections in the still water of lakes and pines trained like huge bonsai. Plus an imperial villa and totally unexpected mass tulip and muscari plantings!

After he drew the raffle Duncan judged the monthly competition which is proving very popular in its new format with high quality entries, Sylvia in first place this time with Rosalie second and Sue third. We took bookings for our trip to Bridgemere Gardens in May and talked about the forthcoming SAGG AGM and our own, then members and visitors enjoyed refreshments chatting and browsing the magazines to take home. It was lovely to arrive in the daylight and at least it was dry when we left.

Sue’s tulip
Sylvia’s azalea
Some of the other lovely entries