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Gardens open for the NGS in Northamptonshire in July 2012

Castle Ashby Gardens, NN7 1LQ

Open  Sun 8 July (10-5.30) Admission:Adm £5, chd £4.50 (chd U10 free)

Facilities:   Teas and plants for sale, disabled access (gravel paths in places) dogs welcome.

Location:6m E of Northampton, between Denton & Yardley Hastings.


Description:25-acres within a 10,000 acre estate of both formal and informal gardens, incl Italian gardens with orangery and arboretum with lakes, all dating back to the 1860s
Rare breed farmyard, tea-rooms and gift shop


Hostellarie, 78 Breakleys Road,  Desborough,  Northamptonshire,  NN14 2PT

Opening dates and times: Sun 8 July (1.30-5.30)

Admission:Adm £2.50, chd free

Facilities:  Teas and plants for sale

Location:6m N of Kettering. 5m S of Market Harborough.

Description:Over 180ft long town garden divided into courtyard garden, colour themed flower beds, ponds and water features, cottage gardens, fruit and vegetable areas all linked by lawns and grass paths. Long town garden, which has seen many changes since the owners moved in over 40 years ago. Lawns and grass paths draw you through ‘rooms’ of different character, from the courtyard garden by the house to the wildlife pond at the bottom. Roses, clematis, and plenty of herbaceous perennials grow in the borders. The few vegetables grown are mainly hand-me-down heritage varieties grown by local gardeners for generations. Stella’s collection of Hostas, over thirty different varieties from the small sword-like ‘Kabitan’ to the large ‘Borwick Beauty’, are the pride of the garden.


Moulton Gardens, NN3 7UX 

Opening dates and times: Sun 8 July (11-5)

Admission:Combined adm £5, chd free

Gardens in this group:
2 Eady Close
91 Park View
Quarrybank House
Sandy Hill Farm
The Grange Garden
The Hanging Garden

Facilities:   Teas and plants for sale, disabled access, Home-made teas at WI hall, dogs welcome at some gardens

Location: Just N of Northampton.  Turn L off A43 at small r’about to Overstone Rd. Follow ‘one way’ in village centre to Church car park & The Grange car park (NN3 7UF) Further parking at garden No.6 up lane off Park View & E side of Park View (NN3 7UZ) Also from A508 via Broughton to Moulton. Follow ‘one way ‘ system to car park
Description:Moulton is a typical Northamptonshire village which has a distinctive character. There are many historic and visually interesting houses built from local stone. There are 8 beautiful gardens open to the east side of the village. These gardens vary from 3½ to ¼ acre. One garden incl a relaxing 2-acre woodland walk, another has the remains of a stream mill. Two gardens have only been re-established over the last 3yrs, but still are a blaze of colour, variety and interest. Overall, there is a good range of annual perennials, shrubs and fishponds, which will make an enjoyable and interesting visit. Dogs welcome at some gardens


Ravensthorpe Gardens, NN6 8ES. Opening dates and times:Sun 15 July (1-5)

Admission:Combined adm £4, chd free

Gardens in this group:
Mill House
Quiet Ways
Ravensthorpe Nursery
The Old Forge House

Facilities:  Teas, dogs welcome, disabled access

Location: 7m NW of Northampton. Signed from A5199 and the A428. Mill House immed on R as you turn off A428 down Long Lane. 1m from village.

Description:Attractive village in Northamptonshire uplands near to Ravensthorpe reservoir and Top Ardles Wood Woodland Trust which have bird watching and picnic opportunities. 5 very different established and developing gardens set in beautiful countryside displaying a wide range of plants, many of which are available from the Nursery, offering inspirational planting, quiet contemplation, beautiful views, gardens encouraging wildlife, fruit and vegetable gardens owned by Heritage Seed Library Guardian, rose garden and woodland walk


Rookery Barn, Water Lane,  Bradden,  Towcester,  Northamptonshire,  NN12 8FG.

Opening dates and times: Thur 19, Fri 20, Sat 21 July (2-5)

Admission:Adm £3.50, chd free

Facilities:   Teas and plants for sale, dogs welcome

Location: 3m N of Towcester.  From Greens Norton take rd to Bradden. Follow signs L into Water Lane

Description:1/3 acre plantsman’s garden in picturesque village. Extensive range of plants, many unusual. Terracotta pots with rare tender perennials, gravel and courtyard garden leads to stunning herbaceous borders
Owner artist pictures on display and for sale. Specialist plant sale


The Maltings, Clipston. LE16 9RS. Opening dates and times: Sat 21 July (2-6); Sun 22 July (11-6)

Admission:Adm £3, chd free

Facilities:   Teas, disabled access

Location: 4m S of Market Harborough, 9m W of Kettering, 10m N Northampton.
From A14 take junction 2, A508 N. After 2m turn L for Clipston. 2 houses away from Old Red Lion

Description:¾ acre sloping plantsman’s garden designed for yr round interest by the present owner. Many unusual plants, shrubs, old and new trees. Over 60 different clematis, wild garden walk, spring bulb area, over 30 different species roses, 2 ponds connected by a stream, bog garden. Fruit, vegetables and greenhouse. Swing and slide for children 

Disability information:Partial wheelchair access. Gravelled drive, some narrow paths & some steps

Further details:This sloping ¾-garden is now a plantsman’s haven. Purchased by the present owners in December 1996 the garden was mostly a boggy lawn with some good specimen trees. Building stables at the top of the hill necessitated a driveway being taken through the middle of the garden meaning a complete change. Shrubs were planted around the perimeter first, then came the productive area which has grown more extensive each year. Now two raised beds contain a variety of vegetables, with a greenhouse also for vegetables and two marvellous peach trees. Outside is a large variety of fruit trees and bushes. The perimeter was cleared to make a wild garden reached by steps and a bark path. Then came two ponds connected by a running stream followed by a change in the boggy lawn to form a bog garden with a large variety of cornus and salix amongst other unusual plants and shrubs. The other side of the drive looked dull and had a bad lawn so poles linked by heavy ropes were added for climbing roses behind which there is now a winding grass path through three shrubberies planted with unusual shrubs and perennials. There are now more than sixty different clematis and twenty different species roses in the garden. Also many unusual plants & shrubs, old and new trees together with a spring bulb area and a sunny patio and herb garden. There is plenty of seating areas to enjoy the homemade cakes, scones and teas served on open days


Bulwick Gardens,  NN17 3DZ. Opening dates and times: Sun 22 July (2-5)

Admission:Combined adm £3, chd free

Gardens in this group:
19 Church Lane
Bulwick Hall
The Shambles

Facilities:    Teas and plants for sale, dogs welcome, disabled access
Location: 10m SW of Stamford.  ½m off A43

Description:Unspoilt Northamptonshire stone conservation village. Interesting C14 church and PH. Bulwick Hall is a formal terraced 8 acre walled garden leading to river and island,50 metre double herbaceous borders, topiary, walled kitchen garden. C17 wrought iron gates, C19 orangery and C17 arcade.Peacocks and rare breed hens. 19 Church Lane is a small cottage garden with courtyard and water feature.The Shambles has an original village well, lawns, hedges and stone walls


Froggery Cottage, 85 Breakleys Road,  Desborough,  Northamptonshire,  NN14 2PT. Opening dates and times:Sun 29 July (11.30-6.30)

Admission:Adm £2.50, chd free

Facilities:  Teas and plants for sale, disabled access, dogs welcome
Location: 6m N of Kettering. 5m S of Market Harborough. Signed off A6 & A14

Description:¾-acre plantsman’s garden full of rare and unusual plants. NCCPG Collection of 435 varieties of penstemons incl dwarfs and species. Artefacts on display incl old ploughs and garden implements
Workshops throughout the day

Further details:Plantsman’s garden set in the heart of Northamptonshire close to the historical Triangular Lodge and the Naseby battlefield and divided into separate rooms. Scree garden comprises hot plants such as agapanthus, yucca, phormium, watsonia, codonopsis etc. Water garden with Chinese bridge and various aquatic plants. Ornamental herb garden. 2008


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Coton Manor holds special evening opening for British Red Cross

Coton Manor Gardens will be opening the garden on the evening of Tuesday, 2nd August from 6.30 – 8.30 pm in aid of the Northamptonshire Branch of the British Red Cross.

The entrance price of £10 will include a glass of wine and light refreshments …. and hopefully the opportunity to enjoy the garden in the early evening light.

The gardens are also open to the public noon-5.30, Tuesday to Saturday.



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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, Sunday June 5

APOLOGIES, but Northamptonshire Gardens has been a little slack this week and forgot to post this weekend’s gardens. Hopefully we’re not too late and you can visit these lovely gardens, all open on Sunday, June 5th, some new to the NGS scheme.



NN9 5JN. 2m NE of Wellingborough. 6m SE Kettering, A6/A510 junction. Home-made teas 67-69 High Street. Adm £2.50, chd free. Sun 5, 26 June (2-6).




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. Large selection of home-raised plants for sale -all proceeds for NGS.

NN3 9HA. 3m E of Northampton. off A4500. Home-made teas

Combined adm £4, chd free. Sun 5 June (2-6).





The village is listed in the Domesday Book and parts still retain the old atmosphere with the C12 church of St Andrew and the old rectory. At one time the Elwes family owned almost the whole village. They lived in Billing Hall, sadly demolished in 1956. Today the only tangible links are The Elwes Arms, Elwes Way and Lady Winefride’s Walk. One garden is in the conservation area, which is predominately stone-built. A short walk away, across open parkland by the church; the other gardens are in a recent development, in the grounds of the old Hall. Behind conventional facades lie unexpected delights. In one you could imagine being on a beach, another is formal, with clipped hedges and a cricket pavilion. One has a series of garden rooms around old farm buildings. A warm welcome awaits. Regret no wheelchair access at Plantation House.
NEW HOSTELLARIE, 78 Breakleys Road, Desborough NN14 2PT.. 6m N of Kettering. 5m S of Market Harborough. Signed from centre of Desborough. Home-made teas incl gluten free. Adm £2.50, chd free. Suns 5 June; 3 July (2-6).

Long town garden, divided into rooms of different character, courtyard, cottage garden, Japanese walk, fruit and vegetable area, all linked by lawns and grass paths. Ponds, water features and a collection of over 35 different hostas, of all sizes, in beds and containers.


NEW KARELL HOUSE, 16, Belfry Lane, Collingtree Park, Northampton NN4 0PB. 1.9m E J15 M1 Northamptonshire. Exit J15 of M1, head towards Northampton on A508, pass Hilton Hotel on L. Follow sign to Collingtree Park Golf Course, L onto winding Brook Lane, 3rd R onto Turnberry Lane, 1st R onto Belfrey Lane. Adm £3, chd free. Suns 5 June; 21 Aug (12-5).

Constantly evolving garden adjacent to the Collingtree Park Golf Course with Wootton Brook at the bottom of the garden which consists of mixed borders full of hostas, tree peonies and many old favourites also some rare and unusual plants surrounded by well manicured lawns. River bank not suitable for wheelchairs.



Litchborough NN12 8JQ. 10m SW of Northampton, nr Towcester. Please use car park nr village green. Maps provided. Home-made teas in Villlage Hall. Combined adm £4, chd free. Sun 5 June (2-6).






A small attractive ironstone village within conservation area, listed buildings and C13 church. 6 gardens of diverse size and interest. Lawns, ornamental lakes with rhododendrons and azaleas. Cottage garden with well, summerhouse and walled herb garden. 300yr-old cottage with modern cottage garden developed over the past 10yrs, landscape architects’ country garden designed for low maintenance, mixed terrace garden with some work still in progress. Wildlife pond and patio with pots and containers and a small garden with shrubs, rockery and productive vegetable garden.

Oundle PE8 5AT. National Trust. 01832 205358. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk. 5m SW of Oundle, 3m E of Brigstock. Signed off A427 & A6116. Adm £5, chd free. For other opening times and information, please phone or see garden website. For NGS – Sun 5 June (10.30-5).

One of England’s oldest garden landscapes, abandoned in 1605 after family involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, Lyveden still retains original terraces, prospect mounts, canals and the impressive garden lodge built to symbolise the Treshams’ Catholic faith. Recently replanted 5-acre orchard of pre-C17 tree varieties. Garden tour 2pm.



Daventry NN11 3TF.6m SW of Daventry. 13m NE of Banbury. 3m N of Canons Ashby. Home-made teas at Old West Farm. Homemade light lunches served 12-2, cakes and teas all day. Adm £4, chd free. Sun 5 June (12-5).






Little Preston.  ¾m E of Preston Capes.



Little Preston.. ¾m E of Preston Capes.

Seven varied gardens in a beautiful south Northamptonshire ironstone village mostly with wonderful views. Gardens range from small contemporary to large extensive with woodland walk and ponds.


NOT open for the NGS, but for church funds, is CREATON Gardens, near Northampton, also open on Sunday June 5.

FOR the 16th year in a row the villagers of Creaton will be throwing open their garden gates to share their pride in their village and pleasure in their plots.
The beer tent and barbecue on The Green are always popular, and there will be a jazz band and a traction engine for those who are less inclined to wander amid the petunias and potatoes. Among an interesting variety of stalls will be the Northamptonshire Beekeepers Association’s observation

There will be somewhere to sit and savour teas and a wonderful array of home-made cakes.

Entry to the gardens is only £3.50, and children under 16 go free.

Barbecue and Jazz Band from 12 noon, gardens open at 1pm. Songs of Praise at 6:30pm in St Michael’s and All Angels.

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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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