Very Betty

vbsOur guest speaker at The Cottage Garden Society AGM this year was Neil Lucas, of Knoll Gardens fame. I funded the lecture on the condition that we would call it ‘The Betty Sheppard Memorial Lecture’ for my recently departed Mum, a long-standing member of the CGS and a big fan of Neil’s. She’d have loved that!

In his excellent talk, Neil mentioned that a talented gardener he had worked with insisted on shortening the name of Verbena bonariensis to ‘VB’s’ – not a bad idea as it is a bit of a mouthful. (Younger sister Jo has until now always called them ‘verbena botsy-motsy-wotsits’).

Betty-SheppardOur mum loved this plant too, as the pic of her in her garden above shows, and I told Neil afterwards, her initials were also V.B. – for Veronica Betty.

So in our family, from now on, we will be adapting her name to call them ‘Very Bettys’ – much easier for us to remember.

And as if she is in complete agreement, all of us three daughters have reported a big increase in the number of Very Betty’s in our garden this year! Here are some of mine in the middle bed, below.

my garden-vbs

6 responses to “Very Betty

  1. I was lucky enough to have 5 pots of “very Betty” that had overwintered from last year, which meant they were very tall big plants. I took them along to Tatton for the Cottage Garden Stand and they looked lovely mingling in with the larkspur and cornflowers that other Cheshire Group members had grown. We received an RHS Silver medal, which we didn’t expect, it must have been the “very Betty” that did it!


  2. Ahhh lovely, so good to get a mention! sorry for the botsy-motsy wotsits they are def very betty now and what a gorgoeus plant too just like our mum! XXXX


  3. lovely words Julie, they bring back lots of happy memories. We also have some very Betty given to us by Betty some years ago. Best wishes to all. Ron and Jacy.


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