Julie’s Garden

Jude and I enjoy our monthly summer visits to gardens with fellow members of the Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group but in addition we visit other gardens with our mini-group colleagues. The mini-groups are sub-groups of the main county group of the HPS. This year we are visiting each others’ gardens in turn, one a month from Spring to Autumn.

At the end of March we journeyed out to the village of Fitz to visit the garden of mini-group member Julie. An open area of lawn invited us to wander and soon our eyes were drawn towards a old shrub pruned into a piece of sculpture.

 

The wood was close to a beautiful pond beneath a Silver Birch, with softly coloured perennials beneath, including some beautiful Epimediums.

Throughout th egarden we kept discovering interesting trees and shrubs.

But Julie’s garden had more to enjoy than plants and plant combinations, with sculptural pieces and touches of humour and signs of inventive minds at work.

This beautiful piece of sculpture features four simply constructed seats which look exactly right where they are. It was created by their son as a set piece for exams – beautiful!

Many of us were fascinated by this crescent trellis built to support climbers so we spent time working out how it was made.

The pool edge held a mixture of pieces, some there just to amuse.

So there we have it – a visit to an interesting village garden in spring.

Posted in climbing plants, garden design, garden fun, garden photography, garden ponds, garden pools, garden seat, garden seating, gardening, gardens, Hardy Plant Society, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, sculpture, Shropshire, spring, spring gardening, village gardens, water in the garden | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moors Meadow – a romantic garden full of magic

We had not visited the magical garden at Moors Meadow for several years so we were really looking forward to exploring it with my brother Graham and sister-in-law Vicky.

The garden here was pronounced Britain’s most romantic garden by a national gardening monthly. We were so looking forward to finding out if it lived up to this and if it still felt as magical as we remembered.

It didn’t take long for us to discover that it was indeed a garden full of surprises, artifacts, unusual plants, amazing seats and wandering pathways through changing moods of garden.

   

I shall now share a gallery of photos showing our walk around the gardens.

So there is my gallery of photos of our journey around the magical and romantic gardens at Moors Meadow. I hope you enjoyed sharing our journey and our enjoyment.

Posted in flowering bulbs, garden design, garden furniture, garden paths, garden photography, garden pools, garden seat, garden seating, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, hardy perennials, Land Art, light, light quality, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, pathways, shrubs, spring, spring gardening, village gardens, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A new NGS Yellow Book garden, Longden Manor

It is always exciting finding a new NGS garden to visit and when we find one that is just a few fields away as the crow flies it is extra interesting. Longden Manor with its organic farm still had to be driven to though and we seemed to drive in a big loop before we got to its field parking. As we drove up the drive to the field we were amused by several topiary pieces as well as a beautiful bright patch of Azaleas.

The Manor House itself sits in such a dominant place with wide sweeping views out across the Shropshire countryside. A huge lawn sits in front of the house ensuring a clear view, a view framed by large specimen trees.

New areas are being discovered all the time, old parts of forgotten gardens which are now being unearthed. It was a privilege to look at a pool and bog garden area just cleared and being prepared for planting. The pool has been reinstated already but it looks as if there will be exciting waterfalls and streams to follow.

From the newly discovered old pool we wandered through established woodland into a small orchard, an unusual holly orchard and kitchen garden.

I shall finish off my report of our visit to this new National Garden Scheme garden with another piece of topiary created to make you smile. A rather happy caterpillar!

 

 

Posted in fruit and veg, garden furniture, garden paths, garden photography, garden ponds, garden pools, gardening, gardens, grow your own, hardy perennials, kitchen gardens, National Garden Scheme, NGS, ornamental trees and shrubs, Shropshire, shrubs, spring gardening, woodland, woodlands, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Garden Journal 2019 – May

It is the last month of spring and the garden is alive, everything is thriving and growing apace. But the weather is still confusing our plants. Towards  the end of the month we had a few daffodils still in flower alongside normal May flowering plants. Here is my journal entries for the month.

I started by referring back to the weather in April, “April disappeared without giving us a day of ‘April showers’, the garden is still confused by the weather but we carry on enjoying being outside whatever the weather. The garden seems weeks ahead of where it should be, with trees and shrubs flowering and leafing out of season. May is a great month for flowering shrubs, using their fresh foliage as a foil.” I followed with photographs of just a few of our flowering shrubs.

Cercis siliquastrum                                             Loropetalum chinensis “Fire Dance”

Azalea luteum                                                               Pittosporum tennuifolium ‘Gold Star’

Pittosporum tennuifolium ‘Silver Queen’                   Buddleja salviflora

Blueberry

Over the page I continued by writing, “In May many of our flowering shrubs have white or off-white coloured flowers such as Viburnums in variety, Aronia and deciduous Euonymus.”

On the opposite page Euphorbias take over, a plant that fills our garden with its bright chartreuse, yellow and green. It is a very exciting plant family.

“Euphorbias -one of our favourite plant families. We grow so many! Brilliant form, texture and architectural beauty comes from foliage, bracts, stems and the tiniest of flowers. Euphorbias deserve looking at closely. Get down and enjoy the details.”

    

Turning over to the next double page we move from Euphorbias to garden jobs and the far more delicate perennial Violas.

“May is a busy month in our Avocet patch, a month when we are still deadheading spring-flowering bulbs and beginning regular mowing and edging of our grass paths and lawns.”

“Ian our garden helper, mows and trims edges while I reorganise my loppers.”

“Jude hangs out the hanging baskets and puts succulent pots outside.”

“We have planted strawberries in the strawberry pot.”

“Our tomatoes and courgette are now snug in their growbags.”

Violas feature on the opposite page where I wrote, “Recently we bought some old varieties of hardy perennial Violas, including V. Elaine Quin, V. Columbine, V. Etaine Cream and V. Belmont Blue.”

   

“We grow dozens of different ferns in the shadier parts of the garden. The star fern for May has to be ‘Matteuccia struthiopteris’ the Ostrich Fern.”

As we move on to the next double page we discover my Acer pruning  and lots of Alliums.

“I enjoy pruning many of our shrubs in a Japanese style called Niwaki, which finds the beauty in each shrub, exposes their lower limbs and lets light in. Our Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ hasn’t been prunes in this way for a couple of years so May was the time I tackled it. The photos show before and after forms. I removed about 50% of the growth.”

  

“May is the month when our first variety of Alliums are at their best. Hundreds sweep through our borders with their beautiful, bee-attracting purple spherical flower heads.”

 

And so the final page for my garden journal in May, where we look at probably our favourite tree and the one asked about and admired most by visitors to our garden, Cercis siliquastrum.

I wrote, Cercis siliquastrum, probably our favourite tree in the garden was in full flower in April and still looks magnificent at the end of May. I treat this to a Niwaki prune too as the first photo shows. As it begins to slowly drop its pink petals it leaves pools of bright pink on the lawn and on the seat beneath it.”

Posted in colours, flowering bulbs, garden design, garden photography, gardening, gardens, hardy perennials, ornamental trees and shrubs, shrubs, South Shropshire, spring, spring bulbs, spring gardening, trees, village gardens, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A spring time canal walk

We love to take gentle strolls along canal towpaths once stepped on by the large feet of horses pulling barges. At this time of year leaves are coming out from their buds, wildflowers are beginning to flower and birds are becoming more active.

We began just outside the Welsh market town of Welshpool and walked away from the town. As we moved further away more wildflowers were showing themselves, some plants of the hedgerow or woodland edge. They seemed happy living by a canal.

 

We walked past a swing bridge, a beautifully balanced piece of machinery. Later we found another which proved too much for Jude and Vicky to resist trying out.

Not long after we reached the point at which we planned to turn back, Pool Quay. We stopped for a coffee before making the return wander back along the towpath. We found a few surprises, an old door with no purpose and a beautiful nesting swan who gave us a hard stare as we walked past. Her partner hissed and flared his wings at us when we met him further along the canal.

We love canal side walks and often return to this path to stretch our legs.

 

 

Posted in canals, countryside, hedgerows, pathways, Powis, Powys, trees, Uncategorized, Wales, wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Citadel – a May garden full of colour.

We started our monthly garden visits with our friends from the Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group with a visit to a garden called The Citadel, which although it is close, within 20 miles of where we live, we had never visited before.

We enjoyed our morning greatly as we found a garden of colour and surprises set around a beautiful red sandstone building. The colour was mostly from Rhododendrons and Azaleas, many of which were also richly scented. The entrance to the garden took us past a wonderful perfectly shaped Copper Beech in its reddish copper colouring. It made a wonderful picture with its neighbouring trees and shrubs.

Around the corner of the house we met the owner who did most of the gardening and his rather grumpy dog, Freddie. We immediately noticed a circle of colourful tulips and nearby a lovely seating area and a wisteria draped pergola.

After an introduction we took off along a series of pathways up a raised section covered in Rhododendrons. We found surprises along the way which adds an extra dimension to any good garden.

As we left the rhododendrons behind with their bright colours and large blooms, the views opened up in front of us. We discovered an old rustic and very highly decorated summerhouse, an open view over the countryside and much softer plantings.

 

 

We were surprised to find a beautifully maintained and productive looking productive garden. From here we made our way to the castle for refreshments and a chat with the owner, and that is how our lovely morning ended.

 

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Another NGS Garden : Gorsty Bank – a wildlife friendly garden

This a wonderful wildlife friendly garden which opens for the NGS and is owned and gardened by fellow Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group members Annie and Gary Frost. The garden is a short distance from home so we soon arrived after a short journey and enjoyed the walk through the village of Hyssington and up the drive to the garden. We found some lovely primulas along the lane and the driveway itself was atmospheric with old stone walls on one side and native hedging alongside.

We were warmly greeted by Gary and as usual made our way to the refreshments and enjoyed talking with Annie as we enjoyed tea and tasty homemade cakes. The views from our seats afforded an idea of the richness of the experience we could look forward to.

We then enjoyed a slow wander around this gentle garden with its paths and gateways to guide our way. We loved the two meadows and the mini-arboretum.

 

Another enjoyable return visit to a favourite NGS garden afforded us a great day out. We will be back!

Posted in countryside, flowering bulbs, garden arches, garden buildings, garden design, garden paths, garden photography, garden seating, garden wildlife, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, hardy perennials, meadows, National Garden Scheme, NGS, ornamental trees and shrubs, pathways, spring, spring gardening, village gardens, wildlife, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment