FOGGY BOTTOM GARDEN AT BRESSINGHAM GARDENS
Foggy Bottom Garden adjoins the Dell Garden at Bressingham Gardens- a garden that I’ve recently written about. Whilst the Dell Garden is a mecca for hardy herbaceous perennial plant enthusiasts, Foggy Bottom Garden has a wider plant selection.
Foggy Bottom Garden was created by the son of world famous plant enthusiast Alan Bloom. Adjoining Alan Bloom’s The Dell Garden is his son’s of garden. This is called Foggy Bottom Garden. Adrian Bloom’s garden is every bit as good as his father Alan’s but is filled with a mix of woody plants and hardy perennials side by side.
How it started
Adrian Bloom first grabbed the gardening world’s attention with this garden and the way he combined his beloved conifers with heathers. This low maintenance garden provided colour and form every month of the year. The vast collection of conifers that Adrian amassed were planted to show them at their best in this garden. Many of these unusual but very attractive conifers were collected by Adrian from growers in Europe and USA. Some of these remain and are an important part of Foggy Bottom today.
North American Collection
The Dell and Foggy Bottom Garden are linked by an area devoted to many native North American trees and shrubs. In this area well established redwoods – both coastal and giant – stand alongside those other magnificent trees western red cedar and Douglas fir. These trees dominate the Pacific Northwest of USA.
The black tupelo Nyssa sylvatica had fantastic red and orange autumn leaf colour at the time of my visit. This is a tree that should be planted more in Britain. It does best on soil with a low pH and is happy in damp soils.
The Foggy Bottom Garden itself
With wide sweeping lawns separating heavily planted large borders this garden has a very different feel to his father’s. Each border hides another and this is a garden that you can truly explore.
The garden is packed full of great garden plants. Whilst the flowers had mostly gone, there is colour to see in every direction. This comes from conifers, shrubs and from hardy perennials too!
Cornus sanguinea ‘Magic Flame’ had outstanding butter yellow leaf colour. This is a great shrub and will provide good orange stem colour after leaf fall right through winter. Also with yellow leaves, Adrian has used another dogwood Cornus alba ‘Aurea’ . In my experience this one has disappointing winter stem colour. Far better to plant Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ and enjoy its wine red autumn leaves and bright scarlet winter stems. I’d be surprised if that dogwood isn’t in this garden somewhere as it is just stuffed with great plants!
An uncommon shrub was in flower at the time of my visit. It has a striking purple pea-like flowers with a graceful weeping habit. I know that there are quite a few different Lespedeza but this was Lespedeza thunbergii.
Grasses feature heavily in this garden in the same way that they feature in The Dell garden. But those that created the lasting memory for me were not the newer in vogue ones but good old pampas grass! In a garden of this size pampas grass is a perfect bold grass for such large scale planting.
When to visit
This is a garden that will truly be of interest on any day of the year. Nevertheless there will be times when there are few blooms to see but the selection of great conifers of every shape and hue with top perennials and good shrubs ensures that it always looks good.
Read more from me about the Dell Garden at Bressingham Gardens here.