Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

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Yorkshire Kris
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Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:05 pm

Had a few great days in Cheshire and visited quite a few interesting places with exotic plants. First place we visited was Tropical Palm Oasis and Stapeley Water Gardens. This is basically a large garden centre and a tropical glass house with various critters and meerkats. The main place of interest is the large narrow pond surrounded by very impressive tall palms. What I found surprising was that the Pretoria cannas were planted in the pond rather than on dry land. Does anyone else do this?
Lots of tall chammies, lots of tropical palms and lots of tropical bedding. Outside there are lots of dead Phoenix canariensis_CIDP stumps but the trachies and yuccas were looking good. There are specimens or coconut, mature cycas with large trunks and various tropical water lilies. Some plants didn't look so good. Many of the tree ferns had no leaves and some of the palms had reached the ceiling and needed to be removed. The place looked a little neglected as they were waiting for planning permission to rebuild the adjacent garden centre. Another interesting plant was a fern growing on a rock with o apparent roots going into any soil

If you are in the area it’s worth a visit. The garden centre is large but I wasn't that impressed.


Close by is the Bridge mere garden world. This is by far the biggest garden centre that I have ever visited! It is HUGE so big that they have a free bus from one end to the other!!! I didn't have time to look at everything as family wanted to get on. Not many tropical plants but 1000s and 1000s of plants and everything else that you expect in a modern garden centre. They also have SIX acres of show gardens showing of the best of the plants that the sell. I didn't see all 6 acres but what I did say was excellent and better than some gardens that I have paid to see. If you are anywhere near this garden centre you should definitely visit. It was packed compared to Stapeley water gardens that was empty.

The next place we visited was Chester Zoo. It’s an annual trip and something we always look forward to. We spent the full day there 10am-5pm as there is so much to see and the zoo is so big (which does become tiring with a couples of little children) the animals are great and must the best zoo in England. Even if you have little interest in the animals the plants and gardens are worth the entry fee alone. There are seven distinct gardens plus the general gardens. All the outdoor spaces are planted with mainly exotic plants with fabulous bamboos, fatsia and numerous palms. The trachies are great but all the cordies have gone plus I didn't see any musa basjoo. A large double trunked Trithrinax campestris is hanging on with one head looking a bit dodgy. The other half hardy palms look dead including a thick trunked Robusta and some chammies. The indoor areas are full of great tropical plants including huge banana plants and alocasia some with tall trunks. I couple of indoor plants are struggling along with a cocoa plant that looked dead.
Overall my personal favourite UK attraction and great for animal and plant hunters alike.

The last place we visited was Ness Botanical Gardens. The approach to the gardens is along roads surrounded by millionaires houses that are huge, some with lots of palms and the odd cordy trunk.
The Ness gardens themselves are fantastic. Not lots of truly tropical plants but masses of exotic planting and unusual specimens. Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Magnolias, interesting bamboos and lots of spring flowering herbaceous plants. Chris Beardshaw garden was not at its best but the girls liked to climb up the grass terrace. The gardens are pretty big and overall well planted with lots of interest I most areas, very impressive for this time of the year. I was surprised to see lots of Eucomis poking up through the soil. They were labelled as Bicolour but the leaves were purple/red rather than green. There is an area of bamboos, most of which were looking great although there were a couple of big dead ones. I think most of the bamboos were borinda but could be wrong (see photos). There are numerous Dicksonia antarctica in one particular area which were not showing signs of life but it is still early in the season so there’s hope. Overall great gardens, better than may at this time of year and good value for money. The only criticism are that it was not obvious were the exit was as on exit was blocked off. Another was a turnstile affair that we could fit the buggy through so had to walk a long way round to get out. The visitor centre and café were first class, nice airy building with really good food especially for the girls. Excellent staff.


So if anyone is in Cheshire I hope this give you a few ideas of where to visit.
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Last edited by Yorkshire Kris on Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:14 pm

Here are the zoo pics including trunked alocasia and stripped Pheonix palm.
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this one for Kata
this one for Kata
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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:18 pm

and some ones from Ness Botanic Gardens.
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bobbyd44

Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by bobbyd44 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:17 pm

i echo what you have said there some great places in cheshire.. i was at chester zoo on friday..was that the day you was there too?? i know all the areas of planting and have suffered this year the t rexs planted last year behind the komodo house are battered and alot of the plants in that area have too..stapley has gone downhill the last couple of years but did think the palm house was closed.

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Arlon Tishmarsh
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Arlon Tishmarsh » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:11 am

Very nice pics Kris icon_thumleft

Tiddy

Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Tiddy » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:27 am

Nice one Kris, I've done chester zoo a few times but not the others, Fortunately I am in Shropshire so all can be reached easily. I'll wait for things to grow on a bit but a visit in late may is on the cards, thanks again icon_salut

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DiCasS
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by DiCasS » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:17 am

Lovely photos Kris, the Trilliums are sooper-dooper. Looks like lovely places to visit.
Thanks for sharing.

Di
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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:05 pm

Bobby I was there on Wednesday and yes the Komodo Dragon enclosure looked very tired. I wonder why some of the plants in there had not come off that well as they are inside?

Also I forgot to add this pic of a very rare palm in Britain...
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Tom2006
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:04 pm

cracking images there! Must pay those places a visit one day!
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.

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JoelR
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by JoelR » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:41 pm

is that the Trithranax I saw in Feb Kris?

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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Cheshire gardens: Ness, Zoo, Stapely and Garden Centres

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:42 pm

I'm guessing so Joel as I couldn't find another. Does it look better now?

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