Bonsai in Worcester.

We recently visited a group of gardens in Worcester who were opening for the National Garden Scheme, I don’t think many of the visitors would have expected to find such a wonderful Bonsai collection in Worcester.

From the NGS website,

“The garden has been 14 years in the making. It was designed around a collection of Bonsai trees which needed to be displayed sympathetically in fairly natural surroundings. It is a low maintenance garden with many oriental influences and a studio designed to look like a tea house. There are also two small ponds with fish and wildlife.”

The owners are Malcolm & Diane Styles. 

I am sure you will agree with me this is a wonderful garden and bonsai collection.

Thank you.

On June the 4th and 5th six gardens in the village of Hanley Swan opened in aid of the National Garden scheme.

Thank you to all the supporters who baked cakes, helped with serving the teas and selling plants in support of Saint Richards Hospice, especially the garden owners who put a lot of work in to ensure their gardens looked wonderful and not least of all the visitors without who we would not raise any money for the two charities.

Some pictures from our garden just before opening.

We also had a group visit from Evesham U3A on Wednesday.

Despite poor weather on Sunday we raised £1619 to share between the two charities.

Open Gardens and Flower Festival.

This bank holiday we joined in with 16 others in the village for the Open Gardens and Flower Festival.

Some of the tulips had gone over however the Camassia leichtlinii ‘Blue Heaven’ were just beginning to open.

Their true beauty can be really appreciated when photographed up close.

I created a short video of the garden during a quiet moment between visitors.

Please turn on your sound, select Watch on YouTube then select full screen.

Japanese Gardens.

Following my post ‘Peace and Tranquility’ I thought it would be interesting to post some pictures, as slide shows, of Japanese gardens we have visited here in the UK.

Tatton Park.

From their website:

“The Japanese Garden was almost certainly the result of Alan de Tatton’s visit to the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition at the White City in London in 1910.

Inspired by what he saw there, Alan de Tatton decided to introduce a Japanese garden to Tatton.  A team of Japanese workmen arrived to put together what is now rated to be the “finest example of a Japanese Garden in Europe.”

The Shinto Shrine and artefacts contained within the garden are all reputed to have been brought from Japan especially for the construction of the garden.” More Tatton Japanese Garden.

Compton Acres.

From their website. “The Japanese Garden encompasses Thomas Simpson’s love for the unique elegance and incomparable beauty of Japanese horticulture. 

He imported genuine stone and bronze artefacts to enhance the garden. The Tea House is draped with Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) and plants native to Japan have been used including the spectacular Kurume Hybrid azaleas, Japanese cherries and maples together with hostas, Hakon grass and a Ginkgo. The pool is home to large Koi carp best viewed when crossing the water on the stepping stones. The Japanese garden is still regarded as one of the finest in the country.” Website: Compton Acres Japanese Garden.

Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

From their website: “It would be difficult to find a poet who hasn’t opined on the changing seasons, it is equally relevant for gardeners, be they amateur or professional, who wait with eager anticipation for the first signs that the earth is thawing.

Raymond Blanc OBE is no different and along with his garden team, waits patiently for spring to arrive, taking time to remember the different destinations he has visited and how these trips during different times of the year have coloured his visions.

When East and West meet

His visit to Japan in the early nineties was one such occasion, which ignited his imagination and inspired him to create a Japanese Garden in the environs of the 15th century Belmond Le Manoir. Captivated by the Japanese tradition of Hanami, a longstanding practice of welcoming spring (held between March and May), which is also known as the ‘cherry blossom festival’, Blanc wanted to bring part of his Japanese adventure back to the UK.

The Japanese Tea Garden at Belmond Le Manoir entices guests to become more mindful as they explore, crossing the oak bridge to find sanctuary and was influenced by Taoist, Buddhist and Shinto traditions.” More details of the Japanese Garden.

National Botanic Garden of Wales.

From their website: “This Japanese garden is called ‘Sui ou tei’, which refers to the national flowers of Japan and Wales, the cherry blossom and the daffodil.

It combines three different traditional Japanese garden styles: the pond-and-hill garden, the dry garden and the tea garden. Japanese garden styles have developed over a 1400-year history, each style celebrating the changing seasons in different ways.

Such changes illustrate the transience of life, and tiny details, such as leaf buds opening in springtime, play an important role by drawing attention to the passage of time.

In the last 150 years, Japanese gardens have been created all over the world, adapted to local conditions. They are appreciated for their tranquillity and sense of calm when visitors take the time to absorb the scenes presented by the garden.” Website.

Botanic Garden of Wales

Bridges Stone Mill.

Closer to home and on a more modest scale is Bridges Stone Mill, they open for the National Garden Scheme in Worcestershire.

“Once a cherry orchard adjoining the mainly C19 flour mill, this is now a 2½ acre year-round garden laid out with trees, shrubs, mixed beds and borders. The garden is bounded by a stretch of Leigh Brook (an SSSI), from which the mill’s own weir feeds a mill leat and small lake. A rose parterre and a traditional Japanese garden complete the scene.” Bridges Stone Mill NGS link

Then there is our garden with its small Japanese garden, open for the National Garden Scheme with five gardens in the village of Hanley Swan on the 4th and 5th of June. Details of all the gardens here: Hanley Swan NGS Open Gardens.

Japanese Garden
@ourgarden19

If you have the opportunity to visit a garden with a Japanese element, please do, I am sure you will find it relaxing and inspiring.

Becky’s Baking Adventures,

Ever since we have opened our garden for the National Garden Scheme our family has been part of the team. You can read about them and the part they play by clicking on ‘The Garden’ heading and then the ‘Garden Team’.

Our two granddaughters have always helped with the refreshments, when they were younger clearing the tables, then delivering orders to the tables, more recently baking cakes to sell to visitors on open days.

Rebecca the eldest granddaughter, who is now at university, has created a website where she will blog about her baking adventures. It is called Becky’s Baking Adventures. Why not go along and see her first post for Pancake day.

Rebecca ready for NGS open day.
Becky’s Baking Adventures.

Broughton Grange.

NGS Visit.

Broughton Grange featured on the BBC Gardeners World this week, if you have not seen the programme I would recommend watching on catchup for an up to date view of this outstanding garden.

We visited in July 2016 when it was open for the National Garden Scheme. It was on my must see list having seen pictures in magazines and reading about Tom Stuart-Smith design of the walled garden. It did not disappoint, seeing it again on Gardeners World inspired me to post pictures from our visit.

This garden description below is from their NGS entry.

“Broughton, Banbury, Oxfordshire

An impressive 25 acres of gardens and light woodland in an attractive Oxfordshire setting. The centrepiece is a large terraced walled garden created by Tom Stuart-Smith in 2001. Vision has been used to blend the gardens into the countryside. Good early displays of bulbs followed by outstanding herbaceous planting in summer. Formal and informal areas combine to make this a special site including newly laid arboretum with many ongoing projects.”

The Greenhouses.

The Walled Garden.

Arboretum, Topiary, Plant Sales and Teas.

The garden is open on certain days, please visit their website for more information: broughtongrange.com

Ravelin.

We visited Ravelin on Sunday, one of their National Garden Scheme open days. It is situated in the next village to us, Hanley castle. The description is from their NGS page.

“A ½ acre mature yet ever changing garden with a wide range of unusual plants full of colour and texture. Of interest to plant lovers and flower arrangers alike with views overlooking the fields and the Malvern hills.

Thought to be built on medieval clay works in the royal hunting forest. Small pottery pieces can be seen interspersed with sedum planting. 

Designed to enable you to move through areas ranging from perennial and herbaceous planting, gravel, woodland and pond. Seating provides different views and experiences and the opportunity to appreciate the unusual plants collected by the owner.

Seasonal interest provided by a wide variety of hellebores, hardy geraniums, aconitums, heucharas, Michaelmas daisies, grasses and dahlias and a fifty-year-old silver pear tree complemented by self-seeding plants adding colour, vitality and encouraging wildlife.”

Below is a short video showing some of the garden during our visit. Please select full screen on the video.

Cream teas were consumed and plants purchased!

They are next open on Sunday 3rd October 12-4pm.