Thursday, 15 August 2019

Oh no! Not another Garden Post

Hi there everyone 😀

It has not escaped my notice that my blog posts of late have been very garden heavy and I'm not sure whether to apologise for this or not. Obviously if gardens aren't really your thing then you may be thinking 'oh no, not another garden post', is this blog really for me? I do hope not though, as winter will be here before you know it and I'm sure that then I will have to find something else to write about 😀

I just seem to have found myself, this year more than ever, drawn more and more to exploring new and beautiful gardens. I could almost spend every day wandering round new gardens, enjoying the tranquility and calm that they seem to bring and being awe inspired by some of the planting that we've seen ... it really is no wonder to me that gardening is said to be good for the soul and can really lift the spirits.

Being members of the National Trust and now trying to take advantage of the Gardeners' World Magazine 2 for 1 offer we are never short of somewhere to visit. Whether it be a return visit to a favourite garden at a different time of year, or somewhere totally brand new, there is always somewhere waiting to be explored not too far away.

Yes, there are some weird and wonderful opening times and I can't say we've never planned to visit somewhere, only to find that it doesn't open on a Wednesday, but I don't think we've ever been anywhere where there wasn't something joyful to be found ... and a good tea room is always a bonus.

I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by plenty of friends and family who like a good garden visit too and this last couple of years I've found gardens situated halfway between home and long distance friends act as very good meeting points, giving a bit of a walk, plenty of time to chill and to chat over a cuppa and a piece of cake.

Last week we had two big days out. One with Mum and Dad, when we made a re-visit to Hidcote and I also got to show Mum, Dad and Martin Kiftsgate for the first time and the following day with our good friends Jackie and Phil, when we got to see Winterbourne and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

All were lovely in their own way and I've lots to share with you about our visits ... too much for one post so I'm going to start with our visit to Hidcote.

Since I've been writing this blog I've visited Hidcote twice, with this being my third visit. The first time I went in July 2017, the second was in April 2018. Both times I met up with an old friend and both times the garden looked and felt completely different.

As I've shared my thoughts of Hidcote with you all before I thought that this time I would do things a little differently and have limited myself to picking just my 12 favourite images of the garden to share with you.

So, in no particular order, here we go ...

1 - The Red Borders
When we checked in on arrival the chappie on the desk told us that the red borders were looking fabulous and we must be sure to see them. As the weather forecast was pretty dire and we were expecting a 90% chance of rain, we thought we'd head straight there and try and catch them before the rain set in. There wasn't actually that much red on display, but the borders were looking very full and lush ...
2 - The Manor House
Whenever I visit Hidcote I always love the view of the honey coloured manor house across the garden, framed by whatever is in flower at the time. This time whilst, sadly, there was no blue sky to be found, there was plenty of other colour in the stocks, lilies and clematis ...
3 - Striking Contrasts
I just loved the look of the frilly silver grey against the almost lime green, with just the odd hint of purple in the background ...
4 - Pots on Tables
I always seem to be taken with these displays of random higgledy-piggledy pots on a pretty metal table. It's something I would love to replicate at home and probably wouldn't be too difficult to do ...
5 - The Stream Garden
Looking particularly lovely on this visit, with lots of big drifts of planting, with plenty of colour ...
6, 7 & 8 - The Kitchen Garden
One of the other things listed as being at their best for this visit was the kitchen garden and it did not disappoint. The last time I visited it was spring and the kitchen garden was looking decidedly bare, but not today. It was jam packed full of fruit, vegetables and flowers ...
9, 10 & 11 - In Flower
Whenever we visit any garden there are always some flowers that really do just stand out. It may be the colour, it may be the shape of the bloom or it may just be something new ... these are what really caught my eye on this visit ...
Frilly yellow daisies
Abutillon, or ablutions as mum calls them!
A purple and orange delight
12 - Plant Sales
The plant sales area at Hidcote is one of the best that we've come across. I particularly love this display that they always have, which shows some of what is in flower now and what they are...
Whilst we didn't come away with anything from this list, we couldn't resist a very healthy looking salvia, which is still to flower ... we just have to find a spot for it now.

Oh ... I know I said I'd keep it to 12 photos but I couldn't resist these last two ... they must have known mum was visiting 😜
So there we go, another lovely visit to Hidcote, managing to totally dodge the rain and ending with lunch in Winthrop's Cafe, interrupted with an impromptu fire evacuation, before heading off just down the road to Kiftsgate for our second garden of the day, but I'll save that for another time 😀

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