Good weather, enough time and my long-lasting wish for new perennials have lured to Primorska – the southwest region of Slovenia. Over the weekend I visited Golob-Klancic, the biggest perennial nursery in Slovenia. They are known for their wide variety of perennial flowers and edibles. For two years now I have been cultivating and perfecting my vision of gradually changing my garden to a farm-style garden.
What is a farm garden
The farm garden is a type of a garden, which used to be a feature of each farm and homestead in Slovenia. On it, the housewife produced vegetables, herbs and spices for the use in the kitchen. The peculiarity of the farm garden is that along with the annual plants, there were also perennials growing beside them. I imagine the farm garden as a place of refuge, the shelter of peasant women who, while working in the garden, were able to rest their eyes, nose and soul on flowering and fragrant herbs and perennials. The work on the farmhouse thus represented not only chores but also relaxation.
I like the look of the farm garden, which is often composed of formally shaped paths and is often surrounded by wooden fences. I also like its function because I think its the perfect combination of usefulness and beauty. If the farm garden is properly designed, its maintenance is also relatively small. The shape of garden beds and permanent perennial planting at the garden edges remain the same every year only the “contents” of vegetable beds change.
The perennials and their place in my garden
When exploring traditional Slovenian plants that used to be a must in old farm gardens I came across an article by Jozica Golob-Klancic (in Slovene only) about the Bleeding heart plant. In the article, Mrs. Golob-Klancic gives a beautiful description of the Bleeding heart and also mentions other perennials that were typical for farm gardens in Slovenia. With the help of this and similar articles on the internet as well as forums and some books I included perennials in my garden design. While I planted the garden with vegetables in spring, I decided to wait until autumn to plant perennials. Expertise and excellent knowledge of traditional Slovenian perennials which I witnessed in the writing of Mrs. Golob-Klancic, convinced me and I decided to buy the herbs and perennials in the Golob-Klancic perennial nursery. One of the important factors in my decision was also the fact that all their plants are grown locally in the plantations that are located on the hillside below the nursery.
A trip to Primorska region and Golob-Klancic perennial nursery
Last weekend of September was reserved for our trip to Primorska region and the visit of Golob-Klancic nursery. The team consisted of four members: Aljaž, Aljaž’s sister, Didi and myself. The ride was pleasant and relaxed, as the crowds of tourists, who were besieging Slovenian motorways during the summer, have already disappeared. When we left the coastal highway, the road led us through the villages of Crnica and Vitovlje. The road began to climb and become narrower. Luckily there were road signs along the way which clearly indicated the way to the nursery.
After a drive on a narrow road among the plantations of fruit trees and chestnuts finally arrived at the Golob-Klancic perennial nursery. An unbelievable view of endless garden beds opened up beneath us. This is where they grow all the perennials that are sold at the nursery. We were greeted by a friendly employee who showed us around the upper part of the garden which is opened for visitors. She explained the layout of plants, which are arranged according to the location of planting (shady, half-shaded, sunny) and other properties (aroma, cover plants, green roofs, aquatic plants, etc.).
We took a short stroll between the hoop houses and were given a short presentation with the list of advantages of locally grown perennials. I pulled a paper from my pocket with a list of plants that I have reserved a place for in my garden back in April. The lady flew over it and started to walk among rows of potted perennials, skilfully choosing the one from my list. I shadowed her during this process and in less than 10 minutes my basket was filled with all the plants from my list. When I paid for the plants and received the answers to all my questions, I walked a little further among the greenhouses, keeping an eye out for new future perennial acquisitions. 🙂
Reason for (re) visit
After we soaked in the sun and enjoyed a wonderful view, we said our farewell to Golob-Klancic perennial nursery. But in my mind, I already promised to visit them again next spring.
I’m glad that I (finally) found the time and visited this nursery, which I have listened and read about for the past two years. I do not regret the costs, nor the time I spent on a trip to the Primorska region. It means a lot to me that the plants are really grown locally and in a family-run nursery. I’ve had bad experiences with most of the seedlings that were grown commercially, under artificial light and in overcrowded greenhouses. I will be planting the plants I bought in the upcoming week. After that, I just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope that they will grow well. 🙂