We visit the Lake District a LOT… we’re less than an hour away so it’s very easy to drive to. We enjoy weekend jaunts to visit beautiful places we have’t seen before and of course we love relaxed lunches in welcoming county pubs! Even so there are some areas we haven’t explored yet and there are gems to uncover.
There is nothing quite like the sight of an English woodland full of Bluebells. Deciduous trees with fresh lime green leaves unfurling with a carpet of deep blue flowers so beautiful it takes your breath away. There’s patches of sunshine with ferns unfurling and dappled shade with mossy fallen trees. Bluebell woods are usually full of wildlife making the most of the early supply of nectar and pollen. Look closely and you’ll see bees and butterflies and wild birds taking advantage of the glut of insect life to feed their young. I was lucky enough to visit Bluebell Cottage gardens yesterday where the Bluebell Wood is in full bloom right now. If you know of woodland in your location where there are Bluebells then the end of April and beginning of May is usually the best time to see them in full flower. Times vary slightly from year to year depending on the weather conditions.
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.
Hidcote Manor Garden Doors
We visited Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswolds in September 2016. The large garden is divided into distinct rooms and you may recall that I wrote about the Red Borders in an earlier blog post. Without doubt those borders were the stars of Hidcote for me last autumn. There are many other lovely areas throughout the entire garden… here are just a few.
Visitors enter the garden at Hidcote Manor via the house. There’s a charming study to look at first then it’s through the white door and into the garden.
Arlington Row in Bibury
Bibury is one of the most well known of all Cotswold villages. With rows of honey coloured stone cottages, a beautiful church, a nice hotel and good pubs it’s a lovely place to soak up the relaxed atmosphere and to enjoy a stroll and a meal if you’re in the area. There’s even a trout farm to visit and a wide shallow river full of fish and ducks runs through the village. It’s English through and through and quite gorgeous. In fact Bibury is often described as the most beautiful village in England.
The Red Borders at Hidcote
A visit to Hidcote Manor Garden had me drooling over the Red Borders again this month. The entire garden is quite lovely but in September the Red Borders are the stars for me. My garden design training usually kicks in whenever I visit a garden. I find myself trying to work out what appeals to me and why. At Hidcote I lingered at both ends of the Red Borders taking it all in. Obviously colour is a big factor in their appeal to me. We all respond emotionally to colour whether we are aware of it or not. I already know that I love the warm shades of orange and vibrant red. But in this case there’s more to it.
Helenium ‘Dark Beauty’
We visited Forde Abbey in Dorset recently. It’s an amazing garden and well worth a visit.
Happiness is a Garden Visit
There are lots of things that make me happy and visiting gardens is one of them. I love to see how other gardeners deal with tricky situations in their own patch and how they combine plants and materials to create a unique atmosphere in their garden. I enjoy visiting well known large gardens and small private gardens too.
Structure & Informality
I went to visit Gresgarth yesterday. It’s a large country garden set within the hills of north Lancashire at Caton. What I love about this garden is the strong structure provided by hedges, walls and terraces contrasted with the informality of the planting.