Report for Alastair’s Botanical Walk – Friday 14 June 2019

Report for Alastair’s Botanical Walk – Friday 14 June 2019

Walkers: Alastair, Mike, Val, Kath, Marian and Frank.


It was a dreadful day with rain, rain and more rain but we felt confident that with macs and ‘brollies we could manage the walk around the shrubs and flowers that are showing along the Station Road, Pershore. We had the added delight when Alastair explained that he had managed to arrange a private tour of the fantastic garden nurtured by Pershore’s retired vet Roger Martin. Alistair had supplied us with a list of shrubs, trees and roses in quadraginta number. The list* included plants such as Eleagnus xebbingei (pruning required), Phlomis chrysophylla (a good all-rounder), weigela florida (should be pruned hard in spring), Aucuba crotonifolia (needs female and male) These we were going to see along the route and he gave us gardening advice about each shrub and on pruning and soil requirements.

On arrival at Roger’s home he greeted us and asked if we would also like to start the tour viewing, not only his veterinary medical museum of equipment and old medical bottles that would have been used decades ago, but also the carpentry tools collected from years ago. These are kept in one of his many “dens” where U3a meet before their weekly croquet games.

We then started our anti-clockwise tour around his estate, with its many different gardens and out-buildings. The property is juxta-pose the Persimmon housing estate with its new “storm water” pond where Roger’s own ducks and geese bathe. The many borders were long and wide and filled with many bright colours of flowering shrubs. We were fascinated by the raised fishpond in the garden and Roger showed us how the fish are trained to hear him shaking the food jar as they came swimming to him with wide open mouths.

The garden tour continued with “blue sky” above us as Roger introduced us to a special Red Horse Chestnut tree which was many years old and had been grafted. Roger explained that he had proved gardening advice wrong by actually propagating another Red variety without having it grafted. By now the geese were beginning to want us to be gone out of their garden so we bid a grateful thanks and farewell to Roger. We began walking along Station Road to the new houses at Persimmon where Alastair described each plant along the pathway and on to garden frontages of the older homes along Station Road. Then the clouds emptied. We decided to finish our gardening talk back at Alastair’s home where we had a cuppa and a lovely chat. Marian gave our vote of thanks to Alastair for his educational garden evening.

Val Taylor

*see Alastair for actual list.