Gresgarth Doors

Gresgarth Garden in Lancashire is open to the public from February to November just one day each month. Sunday 12th March was Hellebore Day and visitors were offered Hot Chocolate on the terrace.

On warm days from April onwards tea and home made cakes are served in the courtyard by the ladies of the local Womens Institute. Usually the place is full of tables and chairs and happy garden visitors enjoying refreshments so it’s hard to photograph the beautiful old buildings. On Sunday it was overcast and drizzly and most people stayed close to the house so it was the perfect opportunity for me to take a few pictures.

I love the way the garden owner and designer Arrabella Lennox-Boyd has matched the painted wooden planters with the doors of the old barns.

It’s lovely to admire the plants when visiting open gardens and I like to look at the details too because it’s those unique touches that add to the character of the garden.

I’m joining in with Norms Thursday Doors today. Why not pop across for a look at some interesting doors around the world?

Are you visiting any interesting gardens this month?




Hellebores and Daffodils

If you visit my blog now and again you’ll already know that I love bright colours. However I’m not usually a fan of purplish red and yellow together… but somehow they seem to work in this little jug of spring flowers.

I know they won’t last long. The Tete a tete Daffs and Hawthorn twigs will but we’ll get two or three days at the most out of the Hellebores. Really it’s better to wait until the flowers look like the picture below and have started to develop their seed pods before cutting them for a vase. You can clearly see how Hellebore flowers fade as their seeds ripen. They are still attractive though and worth cutting if yours have got to this stage already.

Happy 5th Blogging Anniversary to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and Happy Gardening to you!




Hellebore Hybrids

Hellebore season is in full swing. There are so many beautiful plants available to us these days. Many of them come from specialist breeders who are developing new Hellebores with intense colours and unique markings. The Hellebore blooms floating in the shallow bowl of water below are Ashwood Hybrids. If you’d like to know more about Ashwood Nurseries then you may be interested to read about Susan Rushton’s visit. You may also like to visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see some cut flowers from garden bloggers around the world.

I went to Gresgarth Garden yesterday. If you were there you may have spotted me drooling over massed Hellebores. In a long shady border backing onto the Walled Garden there are Hellebores in all shades from pure white to deep burgundy. Hydrangeas provide the shrubby backdrop to this border and there are Daffodils to follow too. But for now, without question, Hellebores are the stars.

I was lucky enough to speak to the garden owner and designer Lady Arrabella Lennox-Boyd. She told me that she started her Hellebore collection with just a few expensive plants and these have self seeded to create the impressive show today.

As a contrast to all the glamorous Hellebore Hybrids I spotted a group of Helleborus foetidus the foot of a climbing Hydrangea. Very understated yet quite lovely too with their creamy green flowers and glossy leathery leaves.

But I have something more like this in mind for our garden…

Today I’ve been removing ferns (useful but not very interesting!) from our Spring Border. I’m making space for just a few more Hellebores. We have the right conditions and a some well established plants already. With a bit of luck they will cross pollinate and self seed like they have at Gresgarth to give us a spectacular show each March. Wish me luck!

Do you grow Hellebores? Your tips to encourage seed production would be most welcome.

Happy Gardening!        Gillian 🙂



Photoboard News

This morning I’ve been outside testing my new photoboards again. I simply stood the Barn board behind a hellebore and took a few shots. I used this board both horizontally and vertically to see which I liked the best. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get images like this. To me this looks like a hellebore growing at the base of an old timber building. What do you think?


I’m delighted to tell you that the lovely people at have been in touch with me to say how much they like my hellebore with their barn photoboard images in the previous post and on social media.

They wondered if my fellow bloggers and photography friends would be interested in a discount on their products. If you would like to try a photoboard or two then use the code COUNTRYGARDEN at the checkout for a 10% discount. The offer lasts for the whole month of March.


Checkout their website at I’d be very interested to know what you think. Hope you all have a lovely day. Gillian 🙂