Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Michael Wickenden

Today I was saddened to hear that Michael Wickenden, plantsman, explorer and owner of Cally Gardens in Scotland, has passed away.

Although I've never met Michael in person the Cally Gardens catalogue has been a highlight of my gardening year for some time now; every autumn (then latterly spring) the catalogue stuffed with rare and interesting plants from around the world dropped through my letter box, and was always the first piece of post to be opened. The biggest challenge with the Cally Catalogue has always been whittling down the desirable list to things I can afford and grow...!
Impatiens rothii- huge tuber from Cally! 

From what I've heard so far, Michael died doing what he loved, travelling, exploring and collecting seed of interesting new plants to introduce to his nursery. At this point I gather that there is an intention to continue the nursery at Cally Gardens, a fitting tribute to the work of a real plantsman.

(Unfortunately I can't find my picture of Rheum 'Cally Giant', a whopper of a species. Well worth looking for online, and if you're into big leaves you'll need to grow it!)

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