Sometimes when you find a garden in the National Garden Scheme’s Yellow Book, you just know it is going to be a special place. Such was the case with the gardens at Cogshall Grange in Cheshire. The description in the book was so inviting and the reality matched it perfectly. It had been designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, one of our favourite garden designers and featured both formal and informal elements, woodland borders, a walled garden, modern herbaceous planting, wildflower meadows and an orchard, all set in the grounds of a Georgian country house.
Jude and I traveled up to Cheshire with friends Pete and Sherlie who also love the work of Tom S-S, so we all arrived full of anticipation.
As we moved from room to room in the garden discovering each feature the atmosphere and mood changed and we were constantly presented with fresh perspectives. This garden was a true garden experience.
We were really looking forward to seeing inside the walled garden which was where the influence of Tom Stuart-Smith was clearly to be seen, but of course we started with coffee and cake to get us in the mood. We discovered and enjoyed interesting small areas of planting as we made our way towards the walled garden, a delicately planted container, some beautifully pruned box and some varied, well chosen plant combinations.
Just as the garden was a careful amalgam of traditional parkland and modern perennial planting so the country house was a combination of old and modern architecture.
The walled garden was where the influence of Tom S-S could be seen and felt most strongly, with his very personal planting style and choice of plants mostly hardy perennials. The atmosphere was so gentle and calming. There was so much to photograph within its walls that the only way to do it any justice at all is through a gallery for you to peruse at your own pace. Please as usual click on the first shot and navigate using the arrows. I hope you can identify the very special feeling of this space.
We left the walled garden via a gateway which led us into gentle meadows of wildflower planting.
Walking back to the car to begin our homeward journey, we continued to make discoveries, some grassland had been cut to contrast with the longer uncut areas which were dotted with sculpture such as this beautiful stone seat.