Saturday, 14 July 2018

On our Doorstep - Alrewas Open Gardens

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

This year we missed both Newton Regis and Lullington Open Gardens as we were at the Lullington event, on the village green with the craft stall for the whole weekend.

We still wanted to get our annual fix of garden inspiration and were delighted to spot one of those signs on the side of the road, that seem to be everywhere at the moment, advertising local events letting us know about Alrewas Open Gardens.

Alrewas is a lovely little village, not too far away, and we’ve spent a day there before completing a series of Geocaches, so we thought it would be lovely to get to see behind some of the beautiful old cottages and see what we garden inspiration we could find.

Having a quick look on Google it appeared that there would be somewhere in the region of 25 gardens to look at so we decided it was well worth a visit and, if it was too hot, we would perhaps just pick a handful of gardens to look at, have a cold drink somewhere and head back home.

We picked up mum, made our way over and parked up on the cricket ground, which was well signposted and easy to find, and bought our programmes, giving us entry to the 24 places open for viewing. Having a closer look at the programme it seemed that only 15 of the places listed were private gardens, so we thought that maybe we would be able to fit them all in after all.

As we were a little early and the gardens didn't open for viewing until 1pm we decided to skip the first three and hoped to get back to them at the end of our visit. We were all impressed by the wood carving outside of the first property though ...
We decided we would head straight for the church and we made our way through alleyways and cut throughs bordered by high walls covered in tumbling roses ...
We took the footbridge across the canal into the churchyard, where we stopped for awhile in the sunshine watching the barges coming and going ...
We crossed the churchyard, where we witnessed a bit of a disaster as a proudly made Victoria sandwich ended up topside down on the gravel path 😞
We availed ourselves of the facilities in the church and savoured the cool interior whilst we had a look at the displays of the special occasions of the royal calendar, both past and present.

By the time we had finished in the church it was just after 1pm, so time to head for our first garden. We caught the occupants having an al fresco lunch on the front patio, thinking they may have at least another 20 minutes before their first visitors arrived.

It was a lovely garden, south westerly facing, with views over the adjoining open countryside, with a brook running along the bottom, which had been planted with wild flowers ...
From here our next stop was the village allotments and we headed back along the road passing pretty thatched and brick cottages and thinking that we would definitely be suited to village life ...
The allotments sat in a lovely spot, under the watchful eye of the church ...
It was roasting hot on the allotments, there was no shade and not a soul to be found ... far too hot for any kind of allotmenteering today.

We had a quick wander around the plots some of which were far more cultivated than others, but all quite charming and a quintessential part of English village life ... 

Our next stop was a real treat, Mill Gardens. The Mill was converted into apartments a number of years ago and sits within a private gated community, so we hadn't even noticed it before.
The Mill itself is a beautiful red brick building, fairly imposing and tucked round the back was the loveliest of gardens ...
Fairly low maintenance I would imagine and with plenty of wildlife ...
It was a beautiful spot for sitting and just taking in the view ... which we did for more than a few minutes.

Though we hadn't really walked that far and we were only at number 8 on the programme it was stifling hot and we were all ready for a bit of a breather. We tried to find a bit of shade in the Vicarage Gardens where cake and cold drinks were order of the day ...
I'm pleased to confirm that this is NOT the Victoria sandwich that we'd seen end up in the gravel by the church and was very tasty, the strawberries were so refreshing, a real treat.

Rested and slightly cooled down we were back on our meanderings, past the Mill Stream rest area, where we'd cached previously, back over the canal to our next garden.

This was a long, narrow, mature cottage garden at the rear of a Victorian end terrace house. It was a bit busy for us so we only had a quick look, though I was delighted to bump into a lady that I used to work with years ago out the front ... it's a small World.
Our next garden was quite a large open space but there were some interesting touches and the patio running along the back of the house made for a lovely spot ...
There was then another pitstop for ice cold drinks in the William IV before making our way past the tiny war memorial garden, where the teddy bears were enjoying a picnic in the shade ...
Our next garden was one which has been open for the full 26 years that the event has been running. It was a lovely Georgian walled garden and we were very taken with the fairy sculptures ...
... and the very unusual and huge green man ...
We were really flagging now, the heat was really wearing us out and I ducked into the Methodist church to have a look at the floral displays, where it was oh so cool ...
By now it was just too hot for wandering about so we decided we would just visit the gardens that we would pass on the way back to the car and have to leave the rest ...
Whilst you would always hope for good weather for this kind of event, this time it was really just too hot, which meant we couldn't face up to visiting all of the gardens that were open, which was a shame, as some of those we missed looked really interesting.

Whilst it's not for everyone, we always enjoy mooching round other peoples' gardens and getting to chat to the owners about what they've added to the garden and what plans they still have. It was a good event, though the gardens that were open were fairly spread out, and I'm sure we will visit again and hopefully get to see the gardens that we missed.

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1 comment:

Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.