The Little Town of Ledbury

We have driven through the Herefordshire market town of Ledbury, which nestles below the Malvern Hills, many times over the years and as we drive along its long wide main street we always vow to stop and have a wander around one day.

Well in early September we did just that and we were so glad we did! Interesting buildings, old and new were to be found round every corner, down every alleyway and in every narrow street. There was an amazing sense of pride in the town and a sense of creativity to be found in the galleries and design shops. This pride was not just of the town’s past but in its present.

Even as we got out of the car after parking up, there were signs of the town’s rich architectural heritage and indications of the town’s pride in it.

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Once on the main street which runs through the centre of the town the huge range of ages and styles of architecture was obvious in whichever direction we glanced.

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Occasionally we came across a sign of modern architecture glued to the old and it looked refreshing and sat comfortably alongside its elders.

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Luckily for us if we wandered behind the main street frontage and searched its alleyways and malls we found plenty of coffee shops to choose from. Suitably refreshed after our usual coffee and cake we continued our voyage of discovery.

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Wandering down a narrow side street we found ourselves looking into a garden, a place presented to the town as a place of peace and quiet with attractive, colourful flower borders and several benches to rest on and appreciate the attractive surroundings. We wandered through the “Walled Garden” and found a narrow walled walkway which led us to the church.

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After a wander around the church we continued our walk around the streets of this historic town discovering even more architectural gems. This town is so photogenic!

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But within, inside, below, above and behind all this architecture hides some beautiful little details, which I discovered through my viewfinder. Please enjoy this gallery of close-ups, secrets and details.

The best place to find these details was by getting away from the shoppers and the business of the main streets and looking into the alleyways and behind doors and gates. I shall finish this celebration of the character of the Herefordshire market town of Ledbury by sharing the photos I took looking into such places.



Posted in architecture, buildings, Church architecture, Herefordshire, town gardens, townscapes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aulden Farm Gardens – Part 2

As promised I am back with more photographs from our visit to the gardens at Aulden Farm in Herefordshire. Firstly I would love to share a gallery of photos of the many pieces of garden sculpture we enjoyed discovering among the plants in this wonderful garden.

This atmospheric garden was full of interesting plants used in original ways, in great combinations, in creative partnerships and set to catch the light. Two families of plants which enjoyed having the sun put them in the spotlight were the Persicarias and the Rudbeckias. I hope you like this photo gallery featuring just them.

We hope to return to this garden, surely one of the most beautiful and atmospheric of any we have visited, in the autumn when the light will be playing on the yellows, russets, reds and browns of that season.

Posted in colours, garden photography, gardens, gardens open to the public, hardy perennials, National Garden Scheme, NGS, photography, sculpture, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aulden Farm – another Yellow Book garden

We open our garden under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme and love to see our garden in its famous Yellow Book. But we also love to visit other gardens from the Yellow Book.

We recently visited Aulden Farm which is in Herefordshire, our neighbouring county and we were particularly keen to wander around this garden as it has a similar description to our own in their Yellow Book entry although it is much larger! “Informal country garden surrounding old farmhouse, three acres planted with wildlife in mind. Emphasis on structure and form, with a hint of quirkiness, a garden to explore with eclectic planting.”

We had a lovely drive through beautiful countryside before parking on the grass verge and wandering up the gravel drive leading to Aulden Farm’s garden. A gravel area surrounded by interesting planting was a great place to enjoy tea and homemade cakes.

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Alongside the tea courtyard was a gravel garden in front of a beautiful barn close to tumbling down. Verbena bonariensis was the star in this garden and the afternoon lit it up dramatically. Butterflies were attracted to it as much as me and my camera. This was an area full of texture and interest too good for any photographer to miss.

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We eventually left behind our tea, cakes, verbenas and butterflies and wandered, suitably refreshed, through the shade garden where the low rays of the sun created pools of light and shade. from here we could choose different routes through the garden described in its own leaflet as “very relaxed, tranquil and some even say romantic, but that is for you to decide”. So we couldn’t wait to find out for ourselves.

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Now come for a walk with us around this beautiful garden by enjoying my gallery. Please click on the first photo and navigate with the arrows.

I hope you enjoyed this photographic journey around this wonderful garden. Is it romantic? Yes, definitely so! This is a garden with atmosphere.

We left with an invitation to return whenever we wanted – bliss.

In my next couple of posts about Aulden Farm gardens I will share my images of two special families of plants that caught the beautiful light that day and my imagination, Persicarias and Rudbeckias and also a look at some of the wide ranging sculpture we enjoyed there.


Posted in colours, garden design, garden photography, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, grasses, hardy perennials, light, light quality, National Garden Scheme, NGS, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, photography, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Return to Trentham Gardens

In mid-September we made a return visit to the gardens at Trentham which I featured monthly during 2014. This time we visited not specifically to enjoy the gardens themselves but to meet friends from university, friends we had not met since the early 1970’s.

While there our reminiscences were interrupted by the sheer beauty of a new area of planting, a meadow designed by Nigel Dunnett. The meadow was sown on a slope alongside woodland and even at this time of the year was full of colour and surprises.

Come on a journey around the meadow with us in my gallery below. As usual simply click on the first photo and move on by clicking on the arrows. If this new meadow looked this good in mid-September I can’t wait to go back next spring and summer to see what pictures they paint then.

Posted in colours, garden design, garden designers, garden photography, gardens, gardens open to the public, meadows | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Allotments on Show

This summer we were contacted by the organisers of the Shrewsbury Flower Show to see if we could put on a display about the work our allotment community does with children. There is a marquee at the show called the Futures Marquee and we were allocated some space in this marquee to illustrate how we work with the youngsters at Bowbrook Allotment Community to encourage them to become the gardeners of the future, the wildlife lovers of the future and ultimately the wildlife gardeners of the future.

But to give a full picture we need to go back a few days to a wet morning on the allotments when we met with some families and committee members to put together some insect hotels and wildlife shelters and pot on some tree seedlings the youngsters had sown 2 years ago. The pots we were using had also been painted by the youngsters. We had great fun! And dirty hands!

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We had a message from the show organisers informing us that our tables and screens were all up ready for us to be creative and put up our display, so imagine our despair when we walked in the marquee to find nothing in place and a huge dividing wall cutting through our space. We had a pile of tables and some some broken and the others the wrong size!

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So we set to work getting help from the marquee erectors and a very helpful steward. We found enough screens, we put up our tables and even got the dividing screen moved.

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Once we had sorted the problems out we could at last get creative. We arranged our 3 trestle tables and display screens in the design we wanted and unloaded the vehicles. There looked so much to do! We covered the table tops with black paper to give a uniform look …….

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….. and started pulling it all together.

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Frequent coffee breaks were essential!

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On the back side of the long run of screens we created a photographic journey around our Interest Trail.

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After a few very busy hours it all came together and we were pretty pleased with it. Our display illustrated how we encourage the children of Bowbrook Allotment Community to engage with wildlife and to discover the joys of gardening. It showed how we help develop the gardeners of the future, and ultimately the wildlife gardeners of the future.

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We featured mini-meadows our youngsters had grown in terra-cotta pots and insect shelters and hotels they had made.

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We left the show site to return 3 days later to meet the public and talk about our work with children at our allotments. This is the display as we arrived ready for the show.

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Day one was extremely wet so quiet at the show but day two was brighter and busy all day. We went home with sore throats and aching legs.

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Posted in allotments, community gardening, Shrewsbury | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Harold Hillier in Hampshire – Part 3

The third and final part of this series of posts celebrating our summer visit to the Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire features their wonderful collection of Cornus chinensis, a family of small trees. We were amazed by this collection as we had not realised just how many there were and how varied their bracts were in colour and form.

Please enjoy this gallery celebrating the Cornus collection, which finishes this little series of posts about the Harold Hillier Gardens.

Posted in garden photography, gardens, gardens open to the public, ornamental trees and shrubs | Tagged , , , , , ,

Harold Hillier in Hampshire – Part 2

So here we are back in Hampshire and still wandering around the miles of paths along which we explored the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.

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The Acer Grove was full of colour when the sun hit the foliage after the dullness of the rains.

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The Pinetum was a wonderful place to explore the many shapes of the trees and the texture and colour of their needles. Cones added even more interest. Not a great lover of conifers I felt myself enjoying being among their rich variety.

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But the broadleaved trees were my stars of the gardens with their colourful bark, flowers and the leaves.

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Jude was easily distracted by this wonderfully sculptural swing!

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We continued to discover a huge variety of sculptural pieces along every path and around every corner.

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But there was so much more than trees and sculpture to enjoy at these amazing gardens – we found so many interesting colourful flowering plants too.

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I will finish part two of our visit to the Harold Hillier Gardens with these photos of an amazing archway over a path and a beautifully coloured and shaped pot.

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Posted in arboreta, colours, garden buildings, garden design, garden photography, gardens, gardens open to the public, hardy perennials, light, light quality, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, sculpture, trees | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment