Stone House Cottage Garden – rare plants and follies

A return visit to a garden that we have not seen for a few decades is a rare treat. We returned to Stone House Cottage Garden and Nursery as part of a day out with our Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group friends. In the afternoon we followed up with a wander around Arley Arboretum, another place we have visited before. Both gardens open for the National Garden Scheme during the year too.

We were greeted by Stone House’s owner and gardener, Louisa Arthbutnot, who invited us to wander freely but saying she would be around to answer queries. We entered through a round tower and were soon reminded about what makes this such a special patch, interesting plants combined well and brick-built grottoes.

Entering the garden through the first folly we are given a choice of paths straight away, so enticing.

But we did not make a choice straight as we were attracted to the unusual selection of plants growing right alongside the back door of the entrance folly.


Brickwork and follies feature so strongly in the is cottage garden and enhance it in a unique way.


As we moved through the garden we discovered unusual shrubs with loose meadow-style planting beneath them.


But what makes this cottage garden stand out as being something rather special is its collection of rare and unusual plants and the way Louisa places plants in communities so effectively.


As we left the garden we all made for the nursery where many unusual plants were waiting to tempt us.





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seasonal visits to two very different gardens – mid-summer at Wildegoose nursery and gardens

We made one of our frequent visits to Wildegoose Nursery and Gardens in the middle of July on a warm bright day. We were pleased to find a new sign at the entrance to the nursery and garden, a beautiful coloured plan of the walled garden. Also new was an area of planting alongside the path to the sales hut.

This new planting reflected the planting style of much of the garden, new perennial style with thoughtful colour matching. The nursery beds also looked really colourful and inviting.

We made our way up to the top of the slope where the tea shop is situated, and we treated ourselves to a coffee and one of their special cakes. Then suitably refreshed we set about exploring this wonderful space. Every gravel pathway led to interesting plant combinations.

We will finish off sharing our visit with you via a gallery of my photos. The whole garden is an exciting example of thoughtful planting groups, sometimes pale and subdued colours others bright and red hot. To follow our tracks click on the first photo and then use the arrows to navigate. We shall return later in the year to see Wildegoose in another season.



Posted in colours, garden buildings, garden design, garden designers, garden furniture, garden paths, garden photography, garden seat, garden seating, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, grasses, half-hardy perennials, hardy perennials, light quality, nurseries, ornamental grasses, outdoor sculpture, pathways, poppies, sculpture, Shropshire, South Shropshire, village gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seasonal Visits to two very different gardens – mid-summer at Bodnant

Back with the next installment in this series of posts where we visit Bodnant Gardens in North Wales and Wildegoose nursery and Garden in South Shropshire. In this mid-summer visit to Bodnant we enjoyed a warm bright day wandering around this large wonderful garden on the edge of Snowdonia.

After our breakfast enjoyed in the Pavilion Cafe we wandered along the underpass that takes us below the road to the garden entrance. Even before entering the garden itself we were treated to the site of meadow planting on the banks either side of the path.

Leaving the Reception area we turned right where we enjoyed  a first glimpse of one of our favourite borders of all, the long, hot wall garden.

I took so many photos that day because the light was so good and the garden so interesting, so it is best now if a share a selection of my images with you in a gallery. As usual click on the first pic and then navigate using the arrows.

We will make a return visit to Bodnant in the Autumn to see how the garden looks in that season.

Posted in colours, garden design, garden designers, garden garden arches, garden paths, garden photography, garden ponds, garden pools, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, half-hardy perennials, hardy perennials, meadows, ornamental trees and shrubs, roses, shrubs, The National Trust, trees, Wales, water in the garden | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Simply Beautiful – no 32 in an occasional series – iris flowers

Back with the 32nd post in my Simply Beautiful series where I look at the beauty of a single object, in this case Iris flowers, one white and one black found in the same garden.


Simply beautiful!

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Are You Sitting Comfortably – no 20 in an occasional series

We reach the milestone post in this occasional series featuring the amazing variety of garden seats we find and enjoy sitting on as we reach no 20.

I will start with a couple of very different seats located very near each other in an NGS garden we visited in May, the gardens of  “The Citadel”.

This next set is of seats we found while exploring one of our favourite walled gardens and nurseries in Shropshire, Wildegoose Nursery and Garden.

These next few are from another NGS Yellow Book garden, the wildlife friendly patch at Gorsty Bank just a half hour or so drive from home.

So that is it for this selection of garden seats but another selection will follow soon.

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Ruth and Mike’s Garden – exciting plants and richly planted borders

Gardening friends Ruth and Mike opened their village garden for the first time under the auspices of the NGS this July. We were sadly away in Sheffield  at the time so were unable to visit on that day. However we were invited to visit the following week with one of the mini-groups linked to the Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group.

We arrived on a sunny warm day to spend the afternoon exploring the borders full of interesting plants beautifully placed together to give maximum effect. We wandered through the next door neighbour’s garden before following a path through an orchard and through a gateway into Ruth and Mike’s garden.


Once we reached Ruth and Mike’s garden proper we were immediately amazed by the use of colour in the richly planted mixed borders, where plants gelled so well with their partners creating such satisfying plant communities. Come with us now through the garden by following the gallery of photos. As usual click on the first pic and then navigate using the arrows.

Ruth and Mike’s garden met all our expectations and in fact surpassed them too. It is a great garden and worthy of celebration. As it was open for their first time this year as an NGS Open Garden many people will be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Posted in climbing plants, colours, garden design, garden photography, gardening, gardens, hardy perennials, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, roses, Shropshire, shrubs, village gardens, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Garden Walls and Steps – No 6 in a very occasional series

Back again with no 6 in this very occasional series of posts looking at garden walls and steps that we find our garden wanderings.

First wall is one we found and walked alongside at an NGS garden at “The Citadel” near Shrewsbury and the second very different wall at another NGS garden at Wildegoose Nursery and Garden in South Shropshire.

So I am off now in search of another interesting selection of walls and steps in every garden we visit.

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