flowering bulbs garden design garden furniture garden photography garden seating gardening gardens gardens open to the public hardy perennials irises National Garden Scheme NGS nurseries ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs spring bulbs spring gardening village gardens Yellow Book Gardens

Return to The Picton Garden

The Picton Garden situated close to the Malvern Hils in Worcestershire, is well known as a garden to visit in late summer through to early autumn, mainly because it holds a national collection of Asters. The vast number of asters grown there are featured among herbaceous plantings with some pretty special shrubs and trees too. We love it at that time of the year but knew after listening to Helen Picton talking that it should be a garden worth visiting throughout its open period.

We decided to make a visit at the beginning of April to see what the garden had to offer at that time of year. We found so much of interest and enjoyed our visit immensely. To the one side of the carpark a small rock garden was in the middle of being developed and already showing plants of interest especially these unusual irises and species tulips.


We loved the bright blue gate welcoming us into the garden – very inviting indeed, made even more so by this succulent planter on top of a brick pillar close by.


A large pot of very bright tulips set the scene for what was waiting to be discovered on our wanders around the meandering pathways. Here in the gallery below are some of the colourful tulips we found as we walked around. As usual click on first photo and navigate using the arrows.

The beauty of looking around a garden in the spring months is being constantly on the look out for special specimens which can sometimes make us stop, bend over and get a close up look. Here at The Picton Garden there were special tiny plants to get close to as well as many perennials, shrubs and trees, making it a very special spring garden. The younger members of the Picton family are making their mark on these already special gardens and extending the seasons of interest. Take a wander with us along the winding gravel paths as we discover the Picton Garden in April.

architecture birds gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials lakes landscapes meadows National Trust ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture renovation shrubs The National Trust trees water in the garden

A Walk in the Park – Croome

A a rare warm day in May we met my sister, Penny and husband Tony, for a walk in the park near their home. But this is no ordinary park – it was Croome a National Trust property near the village of Pershore in Worcestershire. The park and house are undergoing a huge long-term restoration programme. We were pleased to get a chance to enjoy it part way through its rebirth.

2014 05 16_9307 2014 05 16_9308

The parkland was originally designed by Capability Brown and it is beginning to come back to life after decades of neglect. Sweeping wildflower meadows were punctuated with newly planted trees. From the slightly elevated parts of the park we enjoyed distant views of the Worcestershire countryside.

2014 05 16_9309 2014 05 16_9310 2014 05 16_9311

As we walked along the highest ridge in the park through newly planted shrubs and trees we were amazed to see that one section of the original underground water system had been exposed by a landslip. A glimpse into the genius of those water feature engineers. In places small areas of herbaceous planting had been established. It was refreshing to look at colour close to and in detail as the parkland here is mostly about large-scale views.

2014 05 16_9312 2014 05 16_9313 2014 05 16_9314 2014 05 16_9316

2014 05 16_9317 2014 05 16_9318

2014 05 16_9324 2014 05 16_9325

A few old specimen trees have survived and their gnarled twisted trunks were a stark contrast to the newly planted shrubs and trees. Beyond them glimpses of the house and church were revealed.

2014 05 16_9320 2014 05 16_9321 2014 05 16_9322 2014 05 16_9323  2014 05 16_9329 2014 05 16_93512014 05 16_9333 2014 05 16_9328

Flowering shrubs seemed particularly happy here with fine examples of sweetly scented Lilac and Hawthorn with their rather unpleasant aroma.

2014 05 16_9326  2014 05 16_9327 2014 05 16_9330 2014 05 16_9319

As we left the shrubberies we moved back out into the open passing over an old stone-built bridge over the River Croome where it had been widened out to form a lake. This was typical of the way Capability Brown manipulated the landscape. The fence on the bridge was constructed from the wood of chestnut. This wood makes unusual looking fencing which lasts for centuries without maintenance. (see another post, coming soon, concerning Chestnut trees and fences constructed from their wood)

2014 05 16_9340 2014 05 16_9341

Overlooking the lake was a grotto which had been lovingly restored and on this extremely hot and humid day it provided some much appreciated shade and cool air. The fissures and cracks within it afforded the local small birds with safe, secret nesting sites. We spotted Wrens, Blue Tits and Coal Tits while we sat and rested a short while. A statue here was dedicated to Sabrina the Goddess of the River Severn. Sabrina is well known to us as our home town, Shrewsbury, huddles within a loop of the River Severn. The goddess lends her name to many a boat and building in the town.

2014 05 16_9342 2014 05 16_9343 2014 05 16_9344 2014 05 16_9345

In places the lake’s surface bubbled and frothed with a seething black mass of tadpoles. Amazing!

2014 05 16_9346


Our wanderings back to the car park took us along the banks of the River Croome where we were entertained by Sedge Warblers in full song atop waterside plants, through more flower rich meadows.

2014 05 16_9347 2014 05 16_9348 2014 05 16_9349 2014 05 16_9350