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

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A tour of......Dove Cottage Nursery and Garden

One of the closest gardens to me in Huddersfield is Dove Cottage Nursery and Garden in Halifax, how lucky am I! A real treat for lovers of hardy perennials and the garden is a true showcase for the plants. I have done a post about it before when I first visited. But I've been a few times now and it is always changing, with new plant combinations and varieties. The nursery was recently visited by Roy Lancaster for one of his features on UK nurseries in the July issue of The Garden magazine.
My garden visit this time was at the end of August, probably the latest that I've been to visit the garden and it was still going strong and in fact was so lush that you really could almost get lost in the planting. The great thing about the garden is that its on a slope and you walk up and down the garden getting amazing views above and below the plants. There are many really tall plants around and lots of grasses so it always feels like such a swaying garden, lots of movement and colour. Delicious plant combinations abound and you really get a feel for how plants love to mingle.
Enclosed by tall yew hedges, you enter the garden from the nursery through a lovely old door with no view of what is on the other side and it makes you catch your breath as you step through.
 Then you can wind down the garden towards a small summer house and then meander upwards to the top of the garden, with views out to the hills around. It is hard to believe from the lush planting and the huge range of plants that this garden is situated on a north-facing hillside. So it gives you ideas of plants that will grow in more challenging conditions. The views change as you go round each bend in the path.
There is a river of the creeping bronze-leaved Acaena with the frothy grass Panicum. 

There are lots of lovely grass seed head at this time of year which look great against the sunshine, this is Hordeum jubatum.
The little summer house is almost buried by plants.
The Echinaceas were looking particularly splendid at this time of year.
There are also some lovely lower level plant combinations including this Oregano, bright pink geranium and Hordeum.
There is a gorgeous border full of lovely yellows, with Rudbeckias, Achillea, Fennel and the really tall white Sanguisorba.

This lovely plant caught my attention as I wandered through the garden.
If I had read the article in the magazine I would have see that it was a variety of Teasel called Dipsacus pilosus, but actually what is great about this place is that you can chat to the owners, Stephen and Kim about the plants, you can really feel their passion for them. So I asked about it and Stephen said this had been the plant that most people have talked about this year, its common name is actually Small Teasel but its not small at all, reaching up to 2.4m if grown in rich soil. The small actually refers to the flowers which are well loved by bees and hoverflies with lovely white scabious like flower. But I actually was more fascinated by the seed pods. I think the flowers and seed pods will make a lovely unusual cutflower. Its a biennial and can seed around a bit and there was evidence of that in the garden but I bought a small plant of them and am giving it a try.
It seems that they let quite a lot of plant self-seed, the bronze fennel, Erigeron anuus and the lovely acid yellow burpleurum, taking control later in the season, moving plants as they see fit. It all culminates in a garden with a contemporary feel but alive with movement not just from all the grasses but from the insects that the planting attracts.
I would recommend a visit here, but you will need to be quick for this season as the garden and nursery shut on the 30th September. The nursery will reopen again in 2017 around early March and the garden in June.


  1. This garden looks amazing. Funnily enough, this Teasel appeared in my garden last year. I had never grown it and couldn't think what it could be. The seed pods are great for flower arranging.

  2. This looks like a lovely garden to wander around. The small teasel looks interesting. The larger, common teasel has spread very well in a wild corner here so I imagine this 'cousin' would do the same. They are so good for wildlife.

  3. Nice garden Annie - sort of wild in a tamed way, does that make sense. I have never gone much for grasses myself but they do look lovely swaying in the breeze with the sun hitting them. Always difficult to get lots of colour in the garden when the year is winding down, but they seem to have managed it.

  4. Sounds like one for our next year's list.

  5. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. It certainly looks like a wonderful garden to visit. That Small Teasel looks and sounds rather interesting so I've made a note of it.
    Happy gardening. Flighty xx

  6. Dove Cottage looks fabulous Annie. A must for next year!

  7. That is just my sort of garden. And even on a slope, I could learn so much. I bought that tall white sanguisorba earlier in the year and totally underestimated the height. It's become a triffid and will get shifted. I know just the place. If only getting it there would be as easy!

  8. great adventure and learning as well .pics are beautiful ,loved the flowers most .best wishes