One of our first NGS garden visits this year was to Whitlenge Garden and Nursery near Kidderminster in the West Midlands. The gardens were show gardens for the owner, a garden designer/landscaper, but we still enjoyed parts of it, including some plant combinations and some landscaping ideas mostly. being a designer’s show garden it didn’t have a coherent feel to it and it lacked flow. But there were so many ideas for visitors to pick up on.
Here I will share our wanderings around the garden with you for you to enjoy.
Please click on the first photo and then navigate using the arrows.
We like to enjoy a few extra visits on our way back from any holiday we go on to extend our enjoyment, so we tend to book hotels partway back. On our way back from our Cornwall holiday we stopped off at a hotel in Devon so that we could visit RHS Garden Rosemore.
We try to visit all the RHS gardens every year if we can, so we know them well and tend to enjoy them at different times of the year. An early autumn visit to Rosemore was going to be a real treat. It is a garden of two halves, the newer section developed from scratch by the RHS and the older original garden donated to them.
The beauty of this garden is its overall design which can be discovered by exploring its series of differently themed rooms joined with walks across grass areas, through woodland and even under a road via a tunnel.
My photos show some of our favourite plant combinations.
Trees feature in several favourite plant communities which really appealed to us. They add strength, texture and structure to any border. We use trees in many of our borders at home in our Avocet patch.
Dahlias and roses were particularly colourful when we visited
Sometimes added interest can be achieved by including cameos and views, pieces of sculpture, arches, pergolas, garden buildings of all sorts or other features.
The involvement of ornamental grasses in garden borders can add so much if carefully matched to their partners. Light catches their seed heads, they wave about with just the slighest of winds and softness of their textures adds touch to the mix of border interest.
I shall finish with a set of three photos that illustrate the quality of planting and gardening work at RHS Rosemore, a truly great garden full of interest and ideas for us all to take home with us.
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.
We have a selection of favourite gardens that we like to return to whenever we can. These are often newly established gardens which we like to see developing over time or gardens which are good at different times of the year.
Bryn y Llidiart, up in the Welsh Hills not too far from home is a developing garden which is in a spectacular site but a difficult one to garden in. Christine the garden owner is up for the challenge and the garden is full of interest and reflects its positions beautifully. We have seen it develop for a few years now and love every visit.
Close to the house is a colourful area of planting featuring a reflecting pool of corton steel. This patch has lots of interest in a small area and contrasts effectively with the broad views in much of the rest of the garden.
From the intimacy of the reflecting pool garden I will turn my camera on the bigger picture, the wider views of the garden. The situation is described in the NGS Yellow Book with the introduction, “Up the airy mountain you are in for a big surprise! “
One of the special features of the gardens at Bryn y Llidiart is the planting combinations so I shall finish our visit with a selection of how Christine groups her plants to best effect.
We will visit again in the future and share the visit with you on greenbenchramblings.