Tag Archives: Gardens

Cheap (but good quality) plant sale at Coton Manor Gardens from 4/9/12

A quick message from Coton Manor Gardens, drops into our inbox, which we think is worth sharing because we know the plants are mostly ‘home-grown’ and good quality. Look for some good-sized perennials to get the best bang for your buck. We’ll be there, re-stocking NG’s disaster garden, neglected all this summer . . .

“We are holding our customary autumn plant sale which commences on Tuesday 4th September. All our plants will be discounted by 25% and because of a relatively poor season there is much more available than is normal for this time of the year.

We will look forward to seeing you during the next few weeks – our season and the plant sale end on Saturday 29th September.

With best wishes,
 Ian and Susie Pasley-Tyler”

Coton Manor Gardens are just north of Northampton, near Guilsborough, and there’s a lovely tea shop there too.

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Northamptonshire Open Gardens, Sunday July 1, 2012 – Arthingworth and Finedon

Open this Sunday for the National Gardens Scheme:

Arthingworth Village Garden, just north of Kelmarsh, south of Market Harborough, LE16 8LA

Open:Sun 1 July (2-6)

Admission:Combined adm £5, chd free

Gardens in this group:

1 Church Farm Way

1 Sunnybank

10 Oxendon Road

11 Oxendon Road

2 Hall Close

3 Church Farm Way

Bosworth House

School House

Facilities: Some disabled access, Teas and plants for sale
Description:Arthingworth is a small village off the beaten track. It has a 12th century church, village hall, manor, pub and nearly 225 villagers, 16 of whom are welcoming you into their gardens. Many others will help on the day with the cakes, cream teas, coffee and parking. This year, there are 6 new gardens, all different in spirit, tended by young, and weathered gardeners, some with stunning views, some pocket gardens, some artisan, a couple of traditional with herbaceous borders, vegetable patches and orchard, and a futurist one. A day for all tastes


Finedon Gardens, two miles north east of Wellingborough, Northants, NN9 5JN :Sun 1 July (2-6)

Admission:Combined adm £3, chd free

Gardens in this group:

11 Thrapston Road

24 Albert Road

29 Eastfield Crescent

67-69 High Street


Facilities: Disabled access, teas and plants for sale

Description:The village has a varied history dating from Roman times and evolving through farming, ironstone mining, shoe and leather manufacturing. An ancient parish church with a collection of ‘green men’ and many other historical buildings. All three gardens are very different – everything from vegetables to flowers on show. 24 Albert Road has an array of pots, containers and border plants and many cacti, boasting a period dolls house, gypsy caravan, patio and summerhouse. 67-69 High Street  is an ever evolving rear garden of1/3 acre of C17 cottage (not open). Mixed borders, many obelisks and containers. Planting for varied interest Spring to Autumn [see separate entry at 67-69 High Street]. 29 Eastfield Crescent This is a garden in 4 sections. Lawn with mixed borders and pond leading to paved area with containers, water feature and arbour seat. Fruit and vegetable garden with 2 greenhouses. Shady end section with borders and summerhouse. Front garden with varied hanging baskets and containers. 11 Thrapston Road  has a super cottage garden with mixed vegetable plot, soft fruit and apple trees, summer house and tree house.                    Large selection of home-raised plants for sale – all proceeds to the NGS

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Easton Walled Gardens – a forgotten gem brought back to life

A garden is always a labour of love, but what if your garden is 400 years old, covers 12-acres and is completely overgrown by brambles, elder and sycamore trees up to 25 feet high?

This is what faced Ursula Cholmeley in 2000. A young mother with a toddler and a new baby, she decided (and persuaded husband Fred) that the once magnificent gardens at the ancient family seat at Easton in Lincolnshire deserved to be brought back to life. And two years later they started work, having to bring two nine tonne tractors in just to remove the top growth.

Easton Park’s story is rather sad. In 1901 an imposing manor house, Easton Hall, stood proudly above the steep tiered steps down to an immaculate terrace and huge walled garden, split by an imposing 106 metre line of clipped yew, planted in 1852. Franklin D Roosevelt honeymooned there, and David Niven was a later guest.

But the hall was requisitioned by the army during World War II and the soldiers based there – from the parachute regiment – are said to have literally trashed the place, letting off live rounds in the house and throwing hand grenades into the greenhouses. Later the lead was stolen from the roof and the entire building was demolished in 1951. It was only the fact that the bulldozer broke down that the gatehouse and stables remain today. In one part of the garden, there’s a steep spoil heap where you can still see the debris from where the bulldozers simply tipped hundreds of years of British history down the hill.

After ten years of hard graft with a small team and no corporate budget, the Cholmeleys have performed a minor miracle. A hidden garden has been coaxed out from the undergrowth. There are cutting gardens with hundreds of sweet peas, billowing summer borders, lawns and steps, clipped hedging and smart pathways, leading to hidden walkways. Some of it, as you expect, is still work-in-progress and you can see the scale of the task that still faces the team.

However it is a fabulous place to visit for gardeners, or families who want a day out with room to roam and a treasure around every corner. I even found giraffes. Yes giraffes. And unlike many historic houses, children are positively encouraged to stay ON the grass: there are containers with an assortment of footballs to borrow.

The once derelict buildings that remain (you have to get your head around where the actual house once stood by reading the helpful information boards dotted around various vantage points) are now transformed into pleasant tea rooms, and you can sit on a sunny patio overlooking scented gardens. There’s even a viewing platform for great views and at the moment, a ‘swallow cam’ where you can see the feathered visitors nesting in the potting shed roof. The History Room has photographs which show the astonishing task taken on over the last decade.

It took me just over an hour to get there from Northampton, up the A43 and the A1. Entry is £6.25 or £2 for 5-15s.

You can visit the garden’s website here

All photographs and text © NorthamptonshireGardens

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Diarmuid Does it Again: Show stealing pyramid dominates press day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Diarmuid Gavin’s big slide

IT’S that time again, garden designers and plantsmen are in a state of panic as Chelsea Flower Show press day arrives.

An strangely subdued air to this year’s build-up – there are 16 large show gardens and Main Avenue seems somewhat empty.

Brewin Dolphin

But what is there is pretty spectacular. On the first corner as you come in from Garden Gate past the Royal Hospital is Cleve West’s Brewin Dolphin (that’s a company by the way) garden.

Next is Joe Swift’s Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust garden. The designer was banned from presenting the BBC’s usual nightly coverage this year, as were all the presenters who are exhibiting, on the grounds of impartiality. (They are probably quite busy and knackered too.)

Thomas Hoblyn’s Arthritis Research Garden has some impressively tall skinny cypress trees as its backdrop.

Joe Swift for Homebase

Andy Sturgeon’s M&G garden comes next, with its copper rings coming out of the water feature. Lovely planting though.

Arne Maynard has returned to Chelsea this year after a 12 year absence for Laurent-Perrier, and although the pink punctuation is gorgeous, it was looking a little floppy on Monday morning.

Sarah Price’s Telegraph Garden next door is quite muted, but again the plants are the star.

Across the path is the RBC Blue Water Garden (which I read as the BBC Blue Peter Garden on first glance), by Olympic Park designer Professor Nigel Dunnett, with a distinctive conical-roofed seating area.

Joe Swift, in there somewhere

Don’t miss Jo Thompson’s gorgeous Celebration of Caravanning garden on the opposite side of the run, with so much delicious planting crammed into the space it seems Doris the caravan might never actually hit the road.

Across from Jo is Adam Frost’s Land’s End: a Rural Muse, which apparently draws inspiration from Northamptonshire’s own 19th century wandering poet John Clare.

Coming down to the end of Main Avenue all eyes shoot upwards. You simply cannot avoid the ridiculously huge and rather scary-looking pyramid offering from the ever-adventurous Diarmuid Gavin. Which has a slide from the top. It simply has to be seen to be believed, the scale of it is so enormous. I feel slightly sorry for the Quiet Time:

DMZ Forbidden Garden which is simply dwarfed on what is usually the key site.

Thomas Hoblyn for Arthritis Research


All words and pictures © Northamptonshire Gardens

Jo Thompson for the Caravan Club

Telegraph Garden

Arne Maynard Laurent-Perrier

M&G garden by Andy Sturgeon

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Off to Chelsea Flower Show 2012

So, what will we see at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show?
Northamptonshire Gardens will be live blogging the action throughout the day, at least, until we get kicked out for the queen’s private view . . .

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Adventures in muck making: testing starts of new HotBin | Hilary Scott Writes

Adventures in muck making: testing starts of new HotBin | Hilary Scott Writes.

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New opening for the NGS at Collingtree, August 21

A new opening for the National Gardens Scheme charity this weekend as Jenny and Jim Redmond open Karell House, Collingtree Park, Northamptonshire, NN4 0PB on Sunday between 12noon and 5pm.

A large garden next to Collingtree golf course and the brook, the well-loved garden has manicured lawns, tree peonies, herbaceous borders and many shrubs and unusual plants. There are teas and cakes for sale and there is access for wheelchairs except for by the river bank.

Follow sign to Collingtree Park Golf Course, left onto winding Brook Lane, third right onto Turnberry Lane, first right onto Belfrey Lane

AS the gardening season comes to an end there are still a handful of openings in September, and most of the big homes and gardens stay open to the public until October to show off the autumnal colours.

One up and coming event worth marking in your diary is being held on September 3-4.

Althorp’s Garden Art Weekend, includes talks by garden experts Nick Hamilton from Barnsdale and local boy James Alexander Sinclair. There will also be ‘live’ wood carving by chainsaw artists Peter Schwartz and Carrie Yeun. More info to come.


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No NGS gardens open this week, but look out for Hollowell and the new opening of Wrest Park near Bedford

Apologies for Northamptonshire Gardens’s absence in recent days – school holidays and a lack of openings to talk about to blame.

There are no openings this week for the NGS, but diary Sunday August 14 as it sees the new summer opening of Hollowell Gardens just north of Northampton, NN6 8RR (for those sat navs).

The three gardens are open between 11am-3pm, and feature a plantsman’s garden, orchards and vegetables, a model railway and a traditional garden with a lily pond dating back to the 1930s. There will be plants for sale and of course, delicious tea and cake.

The gardens are:

Ivy Cottage


Wrest Park Gardens now open.

Also now open for those who enjoy a stroll around a country estate is the magnificent Wrest Park near Bedford (MK45 4HR).

This amazing garden is being lovingly restored in several styles by English Heritage and there’s plenty to see for all the family. It’s not been open to the public for many years and is a welcome addition to the magnificent collection of gardens in the Midlands. Open Thursday-Monday, 10-6 until October. Visit Wrest Park for further information.

Northamptonshire Gardens will be posting more about the renovation project soon.

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Open gardens in Northants, July 10, 2011

If you didn’t get Grand Prix tickets and fancy something a little quieter, open for the NGS charity this Sunday are the historic gardens at Castle Ashby Gardens, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN7 1LQ, between 10am and 5.30pm.

Castle Ashby has 25 acres within its 10,000 acre estate just off the Bedford Road, with formal and informal gardens including an orangery, lakes and arboretum, dating back 150 years. Teas and plants for sale!

Also open are the lovely private gardens at Ravensthorpe Gardens, Ravensthorpe, Northamptonshire, NN6 8ES, open on Sunday between 1-5pm.

There are five interesting gardens open in Ravensthorpe including a plant nursery, woodland walks, vegetable and fruit gardens, roses and wonderful views.

Ravensthorpe Nursery
Mill House
The Old Forge House
Quiet Ways

Home-made teas at the village hall.

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Open gardens in Northamptonshire, with several new to NGS, July 3, 2011

Four sets of gardens to visit this Sunday, including two new groups and one large garden new to the NGS this year.

A new addition is the gardens at Arthingworth Open Gardens, Arthingworth, nr Market Harborough, Northamptonshire, LE16 8LA open Sunday July 2, between 2-6pm.

There are seven gardens open varying in size and style.

They are:

11 Oxendon Road
Bosworth House
2 Agricultural Cottages
The Gate House
Orchard House
The Laurels
The Willows

There will be tea and cakes and plants for sale.

Also open on Sunday July 3 is Bulwick Gardens, Bulwick, Northamptonshire, NN17 3DZ where you’ll find  three impressive gardens.

The Shambles
19 Church Lane
Bulwick Hall

There’s teas at the Hall and some amazing views. Plus lots of fuchsias for sale!

Another new NGS opening is Hostellarie, Desborough, Northamptonshire, NN14 2PT open on Sunday July 3, 2-6pm.

This long garden of many parts has been developing over 40 years and features a huge range of planting including a collection of over 30 hostas. Teas, cakes and plants for sale.

Finally another new group is Moulton (West), Moulton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN3 7SW where you’ll find nine gardens of differing sizes and uses. Open 11am-5pm, with teas and plants for sale.

The Nymph’s Rose Garden
10 Boughton Road
9 Parade Bank
33 Boughton Road
Moulton College
Moulton Allotment Association
8 Boughton Road
Baytree Cottage
Gallery West Street

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