Thursday, 29 August 2019

On our Doorstep - Elford Hall Garden

Hi there everyone 😀

As promised in my last post, here we are back in the Elford Walled Garden. It's tucked right at the back of the village and not somewhere you are likely to stumble across by accident. It's a real hidden treasure and I kind of have mixed feelings about sharing anything that would make it less so.

It is a really beautiful garden and has been an ongoing project for the last 10 years. It has come on in absolute leaps and bounds since we last visited a good few years ago and it's somewhere that I will definitely be going back to. You can read more about the history of the garden and how it has come to be on their website but it has been a real labour of love and a tremendous community effort to make it what it is today. It really is a treat.

We got to see it at its absolute best, in glorious sunshine and as part of this year's very well supported scarecrow festival. Even though the scarecrow festival has been and gone I believe there are still a fair number of scarecrows resident in the garden, just waiting to be discovered.

We had a lovely walk down the footpath along the edge of the field to the garden, passing lots of pretty straw hats along the way ...
The garden is surrounded by the loveliest old red brick wall ...
... and offers a range of allotments, an orchard, flower borders, a rose garden, a sensory garden, space to play boules and giant chess, as well as a good patch of grass which is perfect for picnics. Just 10 years ago this walled garden was literally just a patch of grass.

There is plenty of access in and out of the garden via these pretty gardens gates which are just asking you to explore further ...
The first thing we saw when we entered the garden was the rose garden, which was just lovely and absolutely full of blooms of all colours, the scent really hung in the air, it was just idyllic ...

Having visited a number of years ago when the garden was in its infancy we were both really quite taken aback by how much there was to see. The allotments were bountiful, watched over by some of the local residents ...
The dahlias were simply spectacular, an absolute riot of colour ...
... and it's definitely been a good year for sunflowers ...
Along the far side of the garden we found The Bothy, somewhere to keep dry if you get caught in the rain and maybe even grab a sneaky cuppa ...
Until this visit we hadn't realised there was more to be seen out through one of those lovely looking wooden gates at the back of the garden. We pretty much stumbled across the sensory garden by accident ... but we were really glad that we did. It is just perfect for little people with lots of winding paths leading to lots of interesting things to see ...

Bug hotels ...
Mosaic stepping stones ...
Colourful sculptures ...
... casting colourful shadows ...
Pretty bridges and narrow pathways ...
At the very extent of the garden is the river, with plenty of picnic tables ... we did an about turn to head back through the garden past the stumpery ...
... giant herons and butterflies ...
We carried on along the narrow pathways through the trees ...
... past the gate back in to the main walled garden ...
As we exited the sensory garden to make our way into the orchard we came across this colourful garden spade just propped up against the wall as though the gardener had just nipped off for lunch ...
All I can say is ... he must be a pretty big chap ...
At the edge of the orchard we couldn't resist a go on Ted's Tuneful Tubes ...
... though we were very good and did manage to resist the lure of a bright red, rosy apple ...
There was plenty of garden produce on display on this side of the garden ...
 
... along with the chance to try cider made from some of the orchard apples.

That was it then really, we were back where we'd started and it was time for us to move on. We'd only had a whistlestop tour but we both know that it's somewhere that we definitely want to go back to, when we have a bit more time to really explore and appreciate the garden's beauty 😀

Another lovely place ... pretty much right on the doorstep ... how lucky are we?

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