Felley Priory Gardens are described in promotional literature as “a tranquil garden” and as “one of Nottinghamshire’s best kept secrets” but how can this be true when it is just half a mile from the M1 motorway? There is only one way to find out the answer to such mysteries visit and see for ourselves. Such a visit should be a delight as the gardens are reputed to contain many rare and unusual plants.
So did our recent foray to Felley present us with answers to the queries above?
Just minutes from the heavy traffic of the motorway in quiet farmland we find a narrow drive leading to a roughly surfaced, virtually empty car park. As usual coffee was our first requirement, so off to the “Farmhouse Tea Room” which was remarkably busy.
When we entered the garden we were the only visitors and a gardener opened up the garden gate for us. It seemed as if most visitors were just using the tea room.
The claims were indeed true. Tranquility engulfed us, enticing us on through archways and gateways to discover new garden rooms and more rare and unusual plants. Another claim seen to be true.
A pool within a walled garden presented us with clear, still reflections of the trees around it.
The gardeners were quietly working away in the shelter afforded by tall trimmed evergreen hedges, cutting down last year’s perennial growth and adding compost as a mulch around them. Their biggest task must be keeping these hedges and the varied topiary specimens in tip-top condition.
Throughout our wander around these unusual gardens we met few visitors, the most interesting being this ancient stone bishop. He looked so cold I shared my hat with him for a while. He didn’t thank me but I hope he appreciated it.
Felley is truly a secret, tranquil garden with rare and unusual plants to enjoy.