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Points North

R.V.Roger, Pickering
I had a good time on my trip last week. First stop on Wednesday was Pickering on the Yorkshire Moors and the obliging Ian Roger, who runs R.V.Roger - a proper plantsman running a proper nursery, a thriving family business founded in 1913. Although we use Ian for fruit trees and bulbs he has a fantastic collection of seeds, roses and herbaceous too. Then off to Crayke and to the lovely Dutch House, where you can find an arts centre with a cafe, and an eco garden with wildflower meadows (from Habitat Aid seed!).
Art Courses in Crayke
It's the brainchild of Cecile, a graphic designer, and Sjaak, the manager of the museum gardens at York. The site is lovely, with a stream running through it to boot, and on a circular tour around the village which takes walkers right through the meadow area. Good luck to you - it's a venture that deserves to succeed. Wednesday night spent as the only guest at the Strines Inn just outside Sheffield - another proper Yorkshire job - the Good Pub Guide triumphs again. Sheffield on Election Day at a pretty thought provoking Green Roof workshop, then a drive to Louth past endless oilseed rape fields (no bees) and Hawthorn hedges (no Blackthorn).
Louth, Lincolnshire
Stayed up much too late on Election night and somewhat hung over for my meeting with Steve the seed man, but stayed awake enough to flog over to the Malvern Show that morning. Malvern was slightly anticlimactic to be honest, but met some good folk including Gilly from the British Plant Nursery Guide and Brigit from the Big Green Bus. I bought my annual Pitcher Plant from the ravishing Hampshire Carnivorous Plants stand, promising to look after this one better. Slept well on Friday.
North of Louth