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TheVillage Gardening

Beyond the boundary

Posted on June 29 2014 at 9:35:33 0 comments

New House Farm

Dave Morgan suggests visiting some unusual Open Gardens further afield in Worcestershire.

I have been writing for The Village now for more than four years, trying to tempt readers to visit National Gardens Scheme (NGS) gardens in the area the magazine covers – so gardens in Alvechurch, Withybed Green and our own garden in Marlbrook.

And whilst it is true that we are open on July 6 (Oak Tree House, Marlbrook), as are our good friends Alan and Lynn at Round Hill Garden, just a short walk away – both with an admission of £3 (or a fiver for the two) – this month I also want to tempt you to travel a little further afield, beyond the boundary of this magazine coverage.

For in Worcestershire, in July alone, you have the choice of 22 gardens open on specific dates plus another 20 that are open by appointment. That’s an amazing 42 gardens to choose from!

So where do you start? Well, it really depends what you want to see in a garden. If you want something a bit unusual you could try 5 Beckett Drive in Worcester (July 13 and by appointment).

Owners Pete and Jacki have created a wonderful plantsman’s garden with a wide variety of colourful plants in different settings. So there are hot borders, a raised alpine bed, a shade garden and a host of surprises on the way – not least of which is a model train that runs around one of the raised beds (assuming the weather is suitable).

Alternatively, and for something completely different but on the same day, try Harrell’s Hardy Plants in the centre of Evesham where you will find a glorious array of hardy perennials, grasses and a large range of hemerocallis all planted up in a very naturalistic style, and with bark paths and plenty of seating to enjoy the views over the garden.

If you are happy to venture over towards Stourport on July 27, I can fully recommend Astley Towne House, a 2.5 acre garden attached to a Grade II listed timber building.

The garden has many exotic and unusual plants, and features a stumpery garden with tree ferns and a woodland temple, a Mediterranean garden, a tree house, a revolving summerhouse and an underground grotto with shell mosaics and water features. It’s tempting to say, “what more could you want?”!

“And now,” as they used to say in Monty Python, “for something completely different!” Have you ever thought about creating a lounge or bathroom in your garden?

Rachel Barnes at New House Farm in Cutnall Green has (open July 19 and 20) – but not your normal lounge or bathroom; merely imitation ones using plants and areas of the garden.

Rachel runs an interior design shop next to her house and uses her design skills to take the inside ideas of a home outside into the garden. You won’t find rare plants and exotics here but you will find some very creative ideas and a great deal of fun. And why shouldn’t gardens be fun?

So there are plenty of gardens in Worcestershire to visit in July, but the observant of you may have noticed that although I have suggested various gardens to visit on most weekends, I have ignored the first one in July – because I am still hoping you will come and visit our cottage-style garden and Alan and Lynn’s gently sloping and abundantly planted garden in Braces Lane, Marlbrook.

All of the gardens mentioned will be providing refreshments and having plants for sale (often at very competitive prices) and whilst you enjoy the gardens and the refreshments, charities around the country and locally will be benefiting.

For more details, pick up a Worcestershire NGS leaflet from most libraries, tourist information centres and good garden centres, or check the website (http://www.ngs.org.uk) which will allow you to put in your post code, how far you are willing to travel and when, and it will provide details of all gardens open that fit your specified criteria.

Go on! Travel beyond the boundary – and enjoy some of the best of Worcestershire’s gardens!


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