Our second visit to an NGS Yellow Book garden for 2015 was just a few days after the first of the year to Bury Court Farmhouse, and was to a garden in South Shropshire near to the village of Clun.
Radnor Cottage sits on a steep hillside with broad views over the countryside. We visited on a bright sunny day with temperatures in the upper teens and this surprising Spring weather brought out lots of garden visitors.
We hadn’t been to Radnor Cottage for many years so really couldn’t remember what to expect. The garden owners described it as a semi-wild woodland garden so the plants of this season looked good in their setting. As we walked slowly up the steep gravel driveway we spotted wetland areas to our right and a mini-arboretum to our left, but we passed these by in search of the sign indicating “TEAS”.
While fetching the teas I spotted this bright yellow leaved Berberis which we were pleased to see looked so fresh and lively as we have just planted one in our front garden in the Hot Garden. We enjoyed our tea and cake sat among a vast array of containers planted up with Sempervivums and other cushion alpines.
I have a soft spot for Celandines so I just had to stop for a close look at this double form.
We began our tour of the garden meandering up a steep slope with typical Spring planting among the close cut grass. We liked the juxtaposition of the formal box balls and the gentle naturalistic planting on the grassed bank. William Robinson would have enjoyed this garden! Species Tulips, Anemones, Muscari and other spring bulbs were to be discovered from the narrow gravel paths.
We found a little veggie patch hidden behind a beech hedge.
We then moved back down the drive to explore the wet area with a series of pools beneath old trees. Banks of daffodils flanked the grass paths. These grass paths appeared as we rounded corners presenting a choice of ways to go each time.
Leaving the wetland we crossed the gravel drive and entered the mini-arboretum. Buds were bursting and bark glowing in the sunshine.
Apart from the fact that it was on a steeply sloping hillside, we could not remember the garden at Radnor Cottage at all, so it was just as if we were visiting it for the first time.