Vanessa Cook, Stillingfleet Lodge Garden & Nurseries,
Stewart Lane, Stillingfleet YO19 6HP
Our visit will start with a welcome and a coffee.
Stillingfleet Village lies 6 miles south of York on the B1222. If approaching from Naburn, once in the village turn right opposite the church, following the signpost to Lodge Nurseries. If approaching on the A19 south of York, once you have passed through Escrick, follow the brown signs and turn right and follow the road for approximately 2 miles, then turn right into Stillingfleet village immediately before the Cross Keys Pub. Cross the bridge in the village and turn left following the signs for Lodge Nurseries opposite the church.
Diane Rawnsley, Tymbel Stede, Hookstone Garth, Thornthwaite, HG3 2PJ
You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch, tea and coffee will be available.
From Leeds take the A61 towards Harrogate, then A59 towards Skipton then turn right at the far side of Menwith Hill. Straight on past the Welcome to Nidderdale sign and down the steep hill then turn left on to Low Lane signposted to Thornthwaite. At Myers garage you can park opposite on Day Lane or further up on Low Lane. Hookstone Garth is on the right a little further on.
Michael Myers, Fairview, Smelthouses, Summerbridge HG3 4DH
12 miles north of Harrogate just off the A6165 (Harrogate to Pateley Bridge road) near Wilsill.
From Leeds take the A61 to Harrogate and on towards Ripon. At the second roundabout in Ripley take the B6165 to Pateley Bridge.
On entering Wilsill take the first right to Smelthouses. Continue ¾ m into the hamlet of Smelthouses. Fairview is on the right just after the bridge.
Alternatively Smelthouses can be approached from the crossroads at Brimham Rocks. The hamlet is about 1 mile from the crossroads.
Please park on the footpath side of the bridge.
Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Grandiflora’
by Kate van Heel
Plant of the month this February is Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Grandiflora’ (paperbush). At the moment it’s not quite in bloom, but instead is covered in buds just waiting to open. Each bud is covered with tiny silver hairs, making the buds shimmer in the weak winter sun.
Once the leaves drop in winter, the young buds are revealed covering the bare reddish brown decorative bark. In Japan, the shrub’s bark has been used for making durable tissue paper called ‘mitsumata paper’ which is used for making bank notes, hence its common name of Paper Bush Plant.
In early spring it produces incredibly fragrant yellow and cream flowers before the leaves appear, providing a welcome source of food for any pollinators at this time of year. It is a relative of the Daphne, apparently sharing its preference for cool, lightly shaded spots. In my garden it receives sun until early afternoon when it is shaded by tall trees next door.
It grows to 1.5m by 1.5m in a pleasing goblet shape and although it is said to only tolerate temperatures down to -5C, I have grown it in my garden (admittedly located in the sheltered Kirkstall valley) for more than seven years with no problems.
I would highly recommend Edgeworthia as a fabulous plant for the winter garden.
Images courtesy of Kate van Heel