The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Arley Hall Garden Festival

On sunday 26th June I visited Arley Hall garden festival with my sisters, Jane, Helen and Diane, and my friend Tracy. A hot sunny day so very lucky with the weather.
Arley Hall is in Northwich and is an impressive stately home surrounded by beautiful gardens, most noted for its herbaceous borders which are peaking at this time of year.

There are eight acres of formal gardens and a plant nursery. Every year they hold a garden festival which includes a floral marquee, food festival and craft market. there are lots of plants for sale and you get chance to have tours round the gardens.
There is an impressive walled garden.

This is a lovely plant combination.

The thistle looks amazing.
This is the herbaceous border which is very popular with the visitors.

My favourite place the kitchen garden

Saturday, 16 July 2011

A kaleidoscope of colour!

The plot next to mine on the allotment looks amazing at the moment. Amongst his huge crop of onions he has allowed the opium poppy to self-seed. A multitude of pinks, reds and purple.
On my plot have one of my favourite plant colour combinations, blue and orange, from the Calendula and Cerinthe.

Another stunning bit of colour on the plot is the Ruby Chard.
 Have loads of flowers on the runner beans.
I have been having a serious problem with pigeons eating my brassicas. I didn't know what it was at first I thought it was slugs but realised it wasn't and also realised that nearly everyone nets their brassicas which should have give me a hint! Anyway once I realised I did net some of my crop but didn't have enough net at the time to net them all but the difference is obvious.

But I've finally got round to netting most plants now, maybe too late for some but we'll see.
The Broccoli is starting to have some flowers on already and the calabrese.

The courgettes are starting to bear fruit, both the usual courgettes and the round ones.

The shallots are starting to develop.
The garlic is huge now. Wish I knew whether it was ready or not!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

York Gate Gardens

I discovered York Gate Gardens on the outskirts of Leeds last year and it is now one of my favourite gardens. I remember a small garden at the Chelsea Flower show one year which was inspired by the gardens and loving that garden too.

It is only a relatively small garden, around one acre, which was created by the Spencer family between 1951 and 1994. It was Frederick Spencer who laid down the main structure and design of the garden, and his wife Sybil who did most of the planting, but after Frederick's death in1963 his son Robin carried on developing the garden. Robin died at the young age of 47, whereafter Sybil added to the considerable plant collection. Sybil died in 1994 and the garden was given to Perennial which now maintains the garden.

It is basically a series of garden rooms but it is all linked together so beautifully and everywhere you look there is a lovely view.
You start off coming in the driveway of the garden, where there is a small tea room and shop. There is a pavement maze in the driveway. You enter a lawned area with a pond.

There lots of garden structures throughout the garden.
And lots of seated areas, including this one backed by a beautiful copper beech hedge.
You go through the pergola into the pinetum, a garden full of conifers, not my favourite bit but introduces a new range of plants.
Another seated area created using three weeping conifers which are joined together to create a covered area.
Another folly.

You then walk into an are with a stream with bog planting.

I love this weeping copper beech with the sunlight coming through it.
The nut walk with arches of Hazel.
The canal garden with some impressive yew topiary.

The herb garden.

The Alley.
I want a potting shed like this.

The greenhouse, stuffed to bursting with amazing cacti and pelargoniums.

Espalied pyracantha.
Alpine and rock garden.

Everywhere there are glimpses of each of the separate garden rooms.

At the end of the garden is a border with hot coloured flowers.
A beautiful part of the garden is Sybil's garden, which is a very relaxing space. It is a circular garden split into two halves, the grass is in the sun and the planting is in the shade. There are borders round. It looks like a garden you might see at Chelsea.

A Holly Blue butterfly on its host plant!
A just find the garden so inspiring and lots of ideas for small gardens, its formal yet with beautiful planting. A garden to visit at any time of year.
Visit the website for more information and note the opening hours as it's restricted.