Update... More Plant Belles for the National Trust July 20, 2018 12:00
2018 Update: Saltram House and Gardens took collection of there 30 new Sidney Belles, this June. The Sidney Belles are part of a new Dahlia garden project, by Head Gardener Nick Allison and his team, at the Saltram National Trust property. I plan to visit and photograph the results late August / early September next year, when the Dahlias and Belles are hopefully looking there best.
2018 Update: A second order for Coughton Court in Stratford-on-Avon, see over 70 Plant Belles installed in the beautiful gardens at Coughton Court since 2017.
Plant Belles have been supplying National trust gardens with Plant Supports since 2008. If you look hard enough among the flora you will also find Plant Belle designs at St Michael's Mount, Hidcote Manor, Castle Drogo and Knightshayes Court.
'George Belle' seen above, helps to support plants in the gorgeous deep floral boarders of the kitchen gardens, at Knightshayes Court, Nr Tiverton, Devon,
Back in 2013, the garden team at Knightshayes introduced over 80 additional Plant Belle designs to the wonderfully restored walled kitchen gardens. The Belles have been purchased to adorn, support and protect the plants, whilst also being in keeping with the Victorian origins of the setting.
John Lanyon, the former Head Gardener at Knightshayes first commissioned the Plant Belle team to create ‘Wigwams’. In 2009 over 20 large wigwam structures were handmade exclusively for the gardens. Each year they are re-dressed to supporting the extensive collection of fragrant Sweet Peas.
The National Trust collaboration started back in 2008, with the former Head Gardener at Castle Drogo, Andrew Midgley.
Andrew commissioned a ‘Grande’ Plant Belle to cope with the large scale planting in the ‘windy’ formal gardens at Castle Drogo, to be named after George Dillistone. Together we created the ‘George Belle’ which now adorns many large established gardens, supporting plants in adverse conditions and creating sculptural interest throughout the winter months.
Castle Drogo, nr Drewsteignton, overlooking the Teign valley and Dartmoor, installed 70 Plant Belles and stem supports, which comfortably adorn the beautifully established formal ‘Arts & Crafts’ garden, designed by Edwin Lutyens and George Dillistone back in the early 20th century.