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Return to the gardens at Hergest Croft

We always enjoy returning to visit and explore gardens we have loved discovering before. Hergest Croft gardens are one of our favourite places to visit and we have visited at several different times of year. In 2018 we made a journey down into Herefordshire in the middle of September for an early autumn/late summer visit.  The building itself is a beautiful “arts and crafts” style villa of brick with features and details to give it a special look. The driveside provides a good place to house plants for sale particularly trees and shubs propagated from the garden’s specimens and some interesting herbaceuos plants. Alongside the entrance is a stunning glasshouse that matches the main house wonderfully and it is here that we begin each visit, after of course coffee and cakes in the tea room. This tea room has a special extra, a lovely outdoor seating space, a covered veranda.

 

Beneath the veranda we enjoyed looking at a border of dahlias and over the top of the border to the borders surrounding the lawn. Here we spotted the first of a series of artworks created on slates, very delicate botanic drawings.

   

More plants for sale grace the walkway along the side of the house, again interesting plants propagated on site from their own plant material.

We next moved into the glasshouse where we always enjoy perusing the delicate plants flowering away happily. Let me share this little gallery with you. Please click on the first pic then use arrows to navigate.

Here is a selection of the photos I snapped as we wandered around Hergest Croft gardens, which helps to illustrate how varied the garden is and what a wide selection of plants are grown there. There is a huge collection of rare and unusual trees here including several “Champion Trees” which guaranteed plenty of interest as we wandered the pathways.

   

There is just so much at Hergest Croft it is hard to do it justice, but I shall finish with a few selected photos of the many I took to help give a taste of this wonderful Herefordshire garden.

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autumn autumn colours climbing plants colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens grasses hardy perennials light light quality ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs pelargoniums Shropshire shrubs South Shropshire

My Garden Journal 2018 – October

Here we are in October, my 10th visit to my garden journal this year. I love October, with its special rich light and the fire and flame colours of foliage on trees, shrubs and perennial plants alike.

The first words in my October journal were, “With October came our first signs of Autumn, foliage on perennials, shrubs and trees are all colouring up – yellows, oranges and reds. Green is becoming a far less dominant colour.” I have taken lots of colourful photos to share what we can see each time we wander out into our garden.

        

On the next page my photos one of the most colourful of all autumnal shrubs, the deciduous Euonymus, and I wrote, Our deciduous Euonymus are at their best in October, foliage and berries.”

  

Over on the next double page spread and on the following page too, I continued to look at our current projects.

I wrote, Moving on with our project, creating a new border to replace our rather jaded foliage bed, we positioned the plants in pots, moved them around until they looked just right. The planting could then get underway.”

“We decided that for another autumn and winter task we would re-design our Hot Border which was looking a little jaded. This simple decision soon became far more complicated.  We ended up making the bold decision to move the new Hot Garden to a completely different part of our patch. But first we had to finish work on the new bed featured on the opposite page. Bulbs had to be planted and an access path made along the backof the border plus a couple of Liriope muscari needed planting.”

“A selection of bulbs and a few more Carex get planted.”

 

“Ian, our gardener, creates a new acess path for the back of the new border.”

 

“Two Liriope muscari now enjoy their new home.”

Moving on to the next double page spread I share the beginnings of developing the new front border to replace the original Hot Garden. I wrote,“As Ian trimmed our Lavender Hedge, I began stripping out the original Hot Border. As I dug plants up, Jude repotted any we wished to keep, if necessary splitting them up too.”

   

 

The front border soon looked empty and Ian improved the soil by double digging and and incorporating organic compost and forking it all through. It is now easily workable and feels a perfect texture.

On the opposite page to our front border adventures I shared some of my paintings of October seedheads, created using graphite pencil and Japanese water colour brush pens.

I wrote, “When the sun shines bright on a dry October day, its rays catch each delicate seedhead atop the fine stems of perennials. The slightest breeze invite these lightweight beige, bronze, ginger and coffee seedheads to dance.”

The final double page spread brings colour back as we look at what is in flower during the last few days of the month. I wrote, “In contrast to the subtle colours of dried grasses and seed heads our late flowering climbers, shrubs and perennials are so bright!”

    

“Sharp contrasts give the garden added depth as the autumn sum dips lower in the sky.”

 

So we see the end of October with reasonable temperatures holding up and plenty of dry days to get out into the garden and get busy.

 

 

 

 

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pelargoniums

Simply Beautiful -12

Pelargonium Ardens is surely one of the most beautiful and at the same time subtlest of Pelargoniums, a family of plants normally associated with bright gaudy reds and pinks. Ardens is so different. Simply beautiful!