Loseley Park – roses, weddings and a great garden visit

loosley

As this estate is readily sold off as a wedding venue, I did not have a lot of hope for the garden. The website show off powdered white rooms with tables filled to the rim with white wedding flowers and white table cloths.

I am relieved to say, that the garden is really worth a visit. This property has a lot to offer, so head to Surrey and save 3 hours for this gem of a garden!

Why visit
The garden has strong lines, clipped hedges with masses of romantic loose planting, which is just what I prefer! An easy match!You will find good plant combinations and other inspirations to bring back home.

A white garden, good focal points, classic fountains and water features, kitchen garden, old greenhouses and a canal is some of the exciters in this garden.
The masses of roses, the wine walk, a field of poppies, exotic plants and palms and tall hedges and walls really impressed me.

I especially noticed the clever plant combinations mixing flower heads of spires, buttons, leaves and umbellifers in lovely combinations.

The Kitchen garden was filled with good ideas on how to train soft fruit, attract bees and birds and create some colour in it.

My favorite part must be the white part of the garden. How it is filled with white, dark green, soft green and silver in all heights and widths. (picture in top right in collage) Well done!

History:
The garden sits inside an old wall from the 16th century (as old as the house) and edged by a moat walk. The design is based on a Gertrude Jekyll design. It was improved in the mid 1990s and is probably more lovely now than ever.

Facts:
I would recomend using a car to reach this property near Guildford south of London. (Sat nav Stakescorner Road GU3 1HS) If you need to use public transportation, I would go to Guildford and take a taxi from there.

A mobile tea shop was set up when we visited. Lovely in good weather, but a bit cold when we was there.

The gift shop, had loads of gifts. Was hoping for a bit more garden related gifts, but ended up with some tea towels and some cards. Collected seeds from the garden would have been lovely!

Other places to visit nearby: 
If you wanted to combine this visit with another garden, there are more to pick from in the area. Wisley is the first that comes to mind, but is so big, it might be to much on a single day. I must mention the lovely Winkworth Arboretum which is on its best in autumn, winter and spring.
If you want a cosy place to spend the night nearby I will recommend the tranquil Rookery nook. Best B&B I have ever visited!

Poppies under the bird feeder in the Kitchen garden

Poppies under the bird feeder in the Kitchen garden

Good strong lines with loose romantic planting, just how I prefer it!

Good strong lines with loose romantic planting, just how I prefer it!

Image of the giftshop exterior

Enter and exit through the gift shop. And then you do support something lovely and deserving!

Advertisements

Stourhead – The best and biggest landscape garden

Stourhead views

Stourhead views

I was actually visiting another lovely National Trust Garden in Somerset this day. On my way out, I asked if the staff knew of a circular walk in the area. They all looked at each other, big smile, and then they all agreed. “You have to go to Stourhead”.

Well Stourhead was nothing like I expected, and certainly no ordinary public footpath 🙂 It was no garden either. But it was definitely the best walk I have ever had.

Why visit:
Arriving at this garden there is a lovely tea room, a gift shop and a plant shop. I showed my National Trust card and entered the property. I was quite happy to see that dogs are allowed in the afternoons.
After walking just a few minutes I arrived at a walled garden filled with veg and flowers. Greenhouses, cold frames and loads of fruit trees. It was nice, but did not give any hint on what was in store.
After the walled garden you arrive on the main road to the manor house which is huge. It`s not a cozy romantic kind of manor, this is the huge, powerful almost a bit threatening type of building.
I am not very interested in houses as of now, so I just followed the signs for the landscape garden.

Through an open gate and arriving at small opening in the forest, I could suddenly see a temple in the distance. At that moment I understood where I was. I had admired this garden featured on Gardeners World on BBC, and could not believe my luck! I also googled this garden after watching the romantic movie ‘Pride & Prejudice’ where Darcy proposes to Lizzy in the pouring rain outside the Temple of Apollo.

The next 4 hours in this 1072 hectare huge garden, I ran around with my camera trying to capture all the lovely sights.
The sky opened more than once followed by sun, making everything shiny and sparkly with raindrops.
There is a leaflet available listing all the trees and bushes in the garden as everything is numbered.

You really must visit this garden, and when you do, please make sure to spend a few minutes on each bench as they are perfectly placed to give you a wonderful view, promise!!!

History:
The garden was designed by Henry Hoare II (who build and owned the manor in the early 1700s), and was designed to show different views, as a series landscape paintings. A true piece of living art. The huge lake is the center, and around it he added bridges, grottoes, temples and filled it with exotic and rare plants.
National trust took over this property in 1940s, and have kept it really perfect ever since. I think Henry Hoare II would be proud!

Stourhead view against the PantheonStourhead view against the Pantheon
Image of old gate

Loads of old gates, this one takes of from the main path, I wonder where it leads?

How to get there:
Wasminister BA126QD
The garden is situated in Wiltshire. There are no buses or trains near by, so a car is the best option.

Where to stay:
I actually found a perfect B&B / Inn only 40 mins car ride away from Stourhead and very close to about 5 other National Trust gardens.
It is called The fat Pigeon and actually has a really lovely garden it self. 🙂
Not expensive, not the best service, but such a grand estate to stay in!

Marle Place Gardens and Gallery – A masterclass in focal points

Marle Place

Why visit:
This is a private garden, and it has that privat secret feel about it. The small secluded garden rooms parted by long elegant views edged with tightly clippet tall hedges, keeps the intrest and wow-factor until you reach back to your car.

In the far end of this garden, there is a beatiful pond surrounded by peaceful woodland and a bog garden.

Through a big red door you enter the walled kitchengarden. And it is really inspirational, even in april. Filled with tulips waiting for the veg to move in. It also contains fruit cages with happy canary birds living in them, closely observed by the cats outside 🙂

The whole garden is dotted by art. Sculptures in many different forms, always set out as a focal-point that draws you twoards them. If you need innspiration to focal points in your garden, this is the garden to visit.
How ever, you could argue that there are too many of them. At the entrance we were given a map, and we tried for quite some time to follow it, but all the focal points drew us off our course, and away from each other. This garden really shows the strength and weekness you can achieve with focal points.

One of the most exiting things I saw was a big rose bush, tied down to a big circular iron plant support (around the plant). It was then pruned to exactly match the ring. It was not in bloom when I was there, but I bet it is truly magical full of roses.
DSC00577

Above the Kitchen garden are two lovely greenhouses and a potting shed.
In the shed we bought antique vases and and other gifts. By the entrance is a small plantshop and a DIY tearoom. We also bought some blue and green eggs. 🙂

This is a private garden, first created in 1890. It has some good old conifer trees that gives this modern garden some umpf and maturity.

I recomend this garden, especially if you are intrested in art or just a special garden. Something different. This is also a good garden for autumn and winter.

You can also visit:
This garden is close to The Great Dixter, and you can do both gardens in a day. However I would not recommend to do Sissinghurst also this same day as they all 3 are huge and to much to take in, in one day.

Where to stay:
We stayed at the lovely Bed & breakfast “Chruch gates” in the nearby village of Cranbrook. The owners are a gardener and an artist, and they also offer guided garden visits.

How to get here:
This garden is not available with public transport. You need a car!
It is situated in Kent TN12 7HS
See the webpage for full address

DSC00633

DSC00624