One of the daftest things I’ve ever done was to travel to Crug Farm, which is on the far side of Wales, near Anglesey, on a Wednesday. After a four hour drive I came to their entrance gate and found a sign which said “CLOSED”. I was just thinking of chancing my arm and ringing the bell when I noticed that underneath the word “CLOSED” was written “This includes you”. But I love the place so much that I returned a few weeks later, on a day when they were open, and returned home, as always, with a car stuffed full of rare plants.
The reason that the plants at Crug Farm are rare is that the owners, Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones, collect the seed themselves on forays to remote corners of the globe. They are the modern equivalent of the Victorian pioneers and no less intrepid. I have lots and lots of their plants at Yewbarrow House, including Tetrapanax (Rex and Empress), Schefflera, Fatsia Polycarpa (like the Japonica but with matt leaves) and Curculigo. The latter has striking ribbed leaves and unfortunately all mine were struck down in the exceptional cold of last winter.
A Curculigo in perfect condition formed part of Crug Farm’s display in the floral marquee at the Chelsea Flower Show. This is the first time that Bleddyn and Sue have come to Chelsea. Their stand was small, but perfectly formed. They not only won gold, but the President’s Medal, an astonishing and in fact unique achievement for first-timers.
No-one deserves their success more than they do. And guess what- Crug Farm now do mail order- so there’s no need to make that eight hour round trip any more.
The photo shows Sue Wynne-Jones in front of the Crug Farm Plants display.