Jessamine is a garden with atmosphere. Peaceful. Gentle. Enticing.
The beautiful sign with the name carved into a stunning block of slate sets the scene and it fits beautifully into the Shropshire countryside. It is another wonderful place to visit within a half hour drive of our home.
The owners greeted us upon arrival and we had tea and Bakewell tart sat on the balcony of the cabin that serves as teashop and ticket office. This is a “his and hers garden” nurtured by just the owners. The husband half of the team took a break alongside us on the balcony and relished a huge mug of coffee. He looked as if he deserves it and he told us that he was in the middle of sorting an overgrown bed alongside the pool. It was a hot day and he needed his break.
The view from the tea balcony is of wildflower meadows carpeting the ground beneath an avenue of lime. Beyond these limes colourful borders glow with rich yellows. The meadows were alive with bees, butterflies and hoverflies, which is a delight and a relief at the same time as this year so far has been so difficult for these beautiful and essential creatures. They are our greatest garden allies and we just could not garden without their help as pollinators, pest controllers and the providers of joy for us.
Suitably refreshed and genned up on the history of the garden we headed for the hot coloured border which again was full of blooms which support insect life. It seems we home in on the warmth of these flowers just as our gardening allies do.
The meadow moved gently in the breeze and the subtle rustling drew us closer to see what was in flower. Some colour was provided by the grasses themselves especially the delicate yellow seedheads seen in the photo below.
We were particularly taken by this simple white rose with its simplicity of flower and pure rose scent. Just the scent a rose should have!
A hedgerow bordered the meadow and avenue garden and hid the rest of the garden from our view but carefully cut gaps in the hedge enticed us through where we were to discover a rose garden and a small arboretum. Mrs Greenbench was particularly taken with the roses climbing up poles, so we are considering the idea as a useful addition to our garden at “Avocet”.
There were a lot of well positioned seats dotted around the garden in shade and in the open – a seat for every occasion!
Beyond the arboretum and at the furthest and lowest part of the garden was a shady garden and close by a pool, both providing respite on this warmest of days.
But there was still more to come as back beyond the teashop was a very productive fruit and veg garden and to get to it we passed a bed of marjorams in all shades of purple from almost white to deep purple. But they were magnets for bees, butterflies and hoverflies. Sweet Peas added a further dimension, scent and they graced the cross over point of the grass paths that divided the productive garden into sections.
We ended our warm afternoon visit to this exquisite garden nestled at the bottom of Wenlock Edge back in the tea shop where we considered if Jessamine Cottage would make a suitable visit for the Shropshire Branch of the Hardy Plant Society. Jude and I have been given the task of organising the visits and speakers for this organisation for the next three years so we are beginning to look at gardens we visit with a more critical eye.
Was Jessamine Cottage a possibility? Yes, most definitely. It is on the list!