Tag Archives: open gardens

Two ‘boroughs’ open gardens, Northants, May 14-15

The open gardens for the National Gardens Scheme in Northants this weekend are:

Guilsborough Spring Gardens, Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, NN6 8PT  which sees eight private gardens open to the public on Saturday May 15 and Sunday May 15, between 2-6pm. Admission £5, kids free.

 Two small cottage-style gardens, one belonging to a keen flower arranger, the other a secret walled garden crammed with fruit, flowers and vegetables. Lots of large (enviable) gardens including a woodland garden on a very steep site to ones with sweeping lawns, mature trees and beautiful views.

Plants for sale  plus teas and cakes.

The individual openings are:

Nortoft Grange 
Guilsborough House
Four Acres
The Old House
The Old Vicarage
The Gate House
Oak Dene
Dripwell House
Also open on Sunday, May 15 is Greenway, Desborough, Northamptonshire, NN14 2SN, between 2-6pm.

A popular garden on the NGS calendar, especially for its collection of over 90 acers (Japanese maple) in containers and open planting. Also has a gothic folly with fernery. There’s also an evening opening on Thursday May 26 (6-9pm). Visitors also welcome by appointment during May only.


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Cottesbrooke Plant Finders’ Fair – expensive plant supermarket or enriching day-out?

Cottesbrooke Plant Finders’ Fair started four years ago in the grounds of a magnificent stately home in Northamptonshire.

The ethos was to be up-market, presumably to entice the wealthy North London-folks up the M1. Potential exhibitors, paying a lot for a stand on which to sell their wares, were vetted before being allowed into what was being pitched as an exclusive club. Garden gnomes and bedding petunias wouldn’t be entertained in such exclusive company.

However, after a slow start, and despite the economic climate, the up-market  ethos seems to have worked. The number of exhibitors at the Cottesbrooke plant fair for 2011 has nearly doubled from year one and currently stands at 60.

This year’s fair is set to take place from Friday June 24th – Sunday June 26th and is open daily from 10:00am until 5:30pm

For the uninitiated,the Plant Fair brings a lot of nurseries and horticultural sundries all together in one place selling their wares, plus your admission fee gives you a chance to tour the very lovely gardens.

There are also high-profile guest speakers, including Dan Pearson, Helen Yemm, Stephen Lacey, Val Bourne, Derry Watkins, Juliet Roberts and local garden buffs Ursula Buchan and James Alexander Sinclair. Last year they charged extra for access to the talks but the 2011 entry fee includes the talks (subject to availability (of seats, presumably)). 

There’s a plant crèche to stash your purchases, a free plant swap for those organised enough to bring a pot of something with them and help available to take purchases back to the car park.

A word of advice: The food queue was horrendous last year so a picnic might be advisable. It’s not too far from the car park to nip back for your lunch.

A mixture of plant nurseries from as far afield as Ireland will attend, including Crûg Farm Plants from North Wales. Visitors can see craft demonstrations and browse the garden sundry stands including two from Holland who specialise in tools.

Carla Cooper, Cottesbrooke’s Administrator said “This is all good for the local economy and in time may give the county’s tourism a little boost. In fact next year we hope to offer local hoteliers a preferential ticket price so that they can offer a Fair weekend break deal”. 

Here’s the price for up-market though: entry to the fair is £8.50 on the gate. Thankfully, this year there is an advance booking line where tickets are £6.50, although annoyingly, there’s an additional £1 ‘booking fee’ PER TICKET. The booking line is 0845 130 7778 and charged at a local rate. Children get in free.

If the weather stays fine, this could be the CPFF’s best year yet. Visit www.cottesbrookehall.co.uk for more details and a list of exhibitors and speakers.

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Northants Open Gardens for the NGS May 8

YOU have to hand it to those hardy gardeners who open their private plots to raise money for the NGS. It’s been the driest start to spring on record and they’ve probably been watering more than weeding. Whatever happened to those April showers?

This Sunday, May 8, you can visit two villages who are opening their gardens for the NGS.

A hugely popular open event is for the nine gardens at Spratton, just north of Northampton, which are open on Sunday between 11am-5pm. Spratton Gardens, Spratton, Northamptonshire, NN6 8HL usually attracts hundreds of visitors, and entry is just £5 for all the gardens.

Waltham Cottage

The gardens are:

The Stables
Mulberry Cottage
The Granary
Waltham Cottage
11 High Street
Spratton Grange Farm
Dale House
Forge Cottage
Virginia Cottage

Spratton has a mixture of different types of houses and gardens, some dating back to the 17th century and some very modern. The gardens too are a mixture of formal and informal, with ancient trees and new vegetable plots jostling for attention.

Several of the gardens have wonderful views over rolling countryside. There are eight in the centre of the village and the ninth, and largest, was created from a farm. As usual, there will be teas and cakes at St Andrew’s Church and one of the gardens will be hosting a massive plant sale.  

Also open on Sunday are Islip Gardens, Islip, nr Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN14 3JY which includes a new opening at Headmaster’s House.
This ancient village features a mixture of gardens, with teas and plants for sale. The featured gardens, all open between 12noon and 5pm, are:

8 Lowick Road
Manor Farm
30 Lowick Road
Headmasters House

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Gardens open for NGS in Northants May Bank Holiday

Some lovely gardens open for the National Gardens Scheme this Royal Wedding/May Bank Holiday weekend.

On Sunday, May 1, between 11am-5pm you can visit five private gardens at Great Brington Gardens, Great Brington, Northamptonshire, NN7 4JJ   with all its royal connections to boot.

Open this year are:

Brington Lodge
The Old Rectory
Rose Cottage
8 Bedford Cottages
The Stables
There are gardens large and small, plus the added bonus of teas and cakes and plants for sale.

For two days you can support the cause via the glorious Evenley Wood Garden, Evenley, Brackley, Northamptonshire, NN13 5SH  open 11am-5pm, Sunday May 1 & 2.

Set in 60 acres and created by Timothy Whiteley over 30 years, this is a stunning wildlife garden with hundreds of plants and a glorious walk.

Find out more at http://www.evenleywoodgarden.co.uk/

If your free time is extended, try Coton Manor Garden, Guilsborough, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN6 8RQ   which is open for the NGS on Tuesday, May 3, between 12noon and 5.30.


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Gardens open for the NGS Easter Weekend – Northants

Not as many gardens open this weekend as you might expect, but we’ve been blessed with glorious weather and may have to spend our free time watering!

If you’d like to visit a garden this weekend, then the following are open:

 The Maltings, Clipston, Northamptonshire, LE16 9RS on Saturday, April 23, 2-6pm, and Sunday and Monday April 24-25, 11am-6pm.

This sloping plantsman’s garden has been developed over 14 years and features mature trees, ponds, shrubs, spring bulbs and clematis. Home-made cakes and swings for the kids.

On Monday’s bank holiday, April 25, between 2-5pm, you can visit Great Addington Manor, Great Addington, Northamptonshire, NN14 4BH   A five-acre garden with formal terraces and lawns combined with a wild garden and spring planting, mature trees and water features. Lovely teas and plants for sale.

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Northants NGS open gardens

The NGS open gardens scheme gets into full swing this weekend with several private gardens opening for charity. Open garden visiting is a real pleasure and as well as having a nose around, there are usually very good home-made teas and plants for sale.

This weekend’s events are as follows:

Flore Spring Gardens, Sunday April 17, 2-6pm

Five gardens of varying size, with flowers, fruit and vegetables. Teas available. Entry is £4, children go free.

3 Meadow Farm Close
Bliss Lane Nursery
The Croft
24 Bliss Lane
The Old Bakery

Flore is just outside Northampton, past junction 16 of the M1, on the road to Daventry.

Cottesbrooke Hall Gardens, Sunday 17, 2-5.30pm

Gorgeous large country house gardens in a stunning setting. While there are formal gardens around the house, don’t miss the ‘wild’ garden with a stream at the bottom and masses of primroses and bulbs. The gardens aren’t open that often and this is a wonderful time of year to visit.

Teas available. Admission is £5.50 adults and £2.50 kids

Litchborough Spring Gardens, Sunday April 17, 2-6pm

A very beautiful postcard English village, Litchborough has four gardens of various sizes open, including a 300-year old cottage and large landscaped gardens. Admission is £4.

Bruyere Court
Orchard House
4 Kiln Lane
The Hall

Litchborough is on the other side of the A5, between Daventry and Towcester

Briarwood, Barton Seagrave, Kettering, NN15 5AF, open Sunday April 17, 10am-3pm, admission £2.50

A new addition to the NGS scheme, Briarwood is in two parts with quirky sculptures, an S-facing lawn and borders with spring bulbs and blossom trees, mature hedging, palms, climbers and a fish and lily pond. There’s a secret garden with summerhouse, small orchard, raised bed potager, greenhouse and water feature.

Cakes and plants for sale.


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Coton Manor bluebells are out

If you want to see the stunning sight of masses of early bluebells, visit Coton Manor near Guilsborough, north of Northampton.

The gardens are wonderful, and the bluebell walk is a highlight right now.

There’s also a tea room and an excellent plant nursery. Say Hi to Caroline.

Open Tuesday to Sunday throughout April, 12noon to 5.30pm.

For more information go to http://www.cotonmanor.co.uk/

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