It was not our plan to visit England again this year but when the invitation to our nephew's wedding arrived I knew I had to get busy. The late June wedding seemed like the perfect opportunity to enjoy another round of garden visits. Out came the map book, the National Trust book ( we renewed our membership of the Royal Oak Foundation) and my little book of The Gardener's Guide to Britain. It may be an old edition, 1995, but most of those gardens are still there and looking better than ever.
FRIDAY JUNE 22nd
WOLLERTON OLD HALL
We wasted no time, following our overnight flight, picked up the car and heading south towards Market Drayton. It was Friday and Wollerton Old Hall has very limited opening times. Friday the garden opens at 12pm.
We passed through the garden gate into the Old Garden and follow the York stone pathway.
You can see by the puddles on the stones that rain recently visited this garden. Everything is looking lush and green in this garden whose main feature is the clipped Portuguese Bay laurels.
Instead of continuing down the path we made a right turn through a gap in the hedge. I was entranced by this small scarlet vine growing through the yew. Not the first time we have seen this same vine in a yew. It is the Flame creeper or flame nasturtium, Tropaeolum speciosum.
English gardens have a way of beckoning the visitor. Who can resist that glimpse through the brick archway. It leads into the side garden which runs along the back wall of the house.
A row of clipped box in wooden barrels line the gravel walkway. One wall has an espaliered magnolia, the other a well trained rose just coming into bloom.
We now turned back and found ourselves in the yew walk.
More topiary in the form of spires which lead the eye down the grass walkway. The beds on either side are planted with mainly silver and white. A break in the planting affords a glimpse through to the Rill garden. We will visit there later.
For now we move on further down the pathway and into the sundial garden.
Off to the right is the summer house.
The rustic doors are wide open and afford views of the garden on two sides.
But there is no time to rest on the comfortable basket chairs. We must thread our way through the billowing masses of catmint and into the new walled garden.
The Lanhydrock garden, named for the NT property in Cornwall is primarily known as the hot garden. This year the lack of color is evidence of the wet and sunless summer England has been experiencing.
Never-the-less delphiniums are at their peak.
In the Well garden more clipped yews in cruciform shape surround a water feature.
Against the wall the carved well head.
More places to sit on a hot summer's day, but not today.
And finally into the Rill garden.
" Possibly the most beautiful personal garden to have been created in the last 25 years." The words of Chris Beardshaw, international garden designer, write and TV presenter.
To learn more about its creator, Lesley Jenkins follow the link to Wollerton Old Hall at the top of the page.
I really could have stayed there all day but we had another stop planned before heading to our B&B.
Sunnycroft: the contents of this Edwardian house completely unchanged since pre-First World War. A visit not to see the garden but to enjoy this time capsule of an age gone by. It was then on to home for night, the Mill House in High Ercall and dinner out at the local pub. We were ready for a good night's sleep and a busy day the following day. In retrospect a lot busier than we had expected!