I have wanted to visit this garden for years, but every time we were in Somerset it was either the wrong time of year, it poured with rain or we just didn't have time. This time, finally, we made it!
We visited on 16th May, and set off in the morning in glorious sunshine, but as we passed Dartmoor and saw Exmoor off in the distance, the cloudier it got, until we arrived at our destination 90 minutes later under full, overcast grey skies. Isn't that just typical?
Well sometimes sunshine can be the enemy of the photographer so I decided to look at it that way; after all the gardens were full of colour so who cared what colour the sky was. The sun came out about an hour before closing time - typical yet again, so we enjoyed that too. We were at the gardens until closing time and I think the last car out of the car park - just goes to show what an enjoyable place this is.
The garden, now covering 65 acres, is divided into two parts with a road running between the two. The original garden was mostly planted up and developed by Lady Anne Berry during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Lady Anne gave the gardens to the RHS in 1988 along with a further plot of land (that which is across the road), which has been developed by the RHS into many gardens of different styles and a rich wealth of planting. A brief history of the garden on Wikipedia here, and further info on the website here.
The Winter Garden - lots of interesting coloured bark - I loved it!
I think it was about a week after the Cherry blossom was at its peak, but even so we had quite a magnificent display over many areas of the garden. One thing we were too early for was the Rose Garden, but you can't have it all.
The Herb, Potager and Cottage Garden
Quite ornamental too, it's every gardeners dream to have a potager like this but unless you have an army of gardeners to help you, it's pretty unlikely your veggies will ever be presented like this......
Of course there were flowers galore in there, and I was rather taken by these multicolour Wallflowers. Just gorgeous colours. I think this patch represented the Cottage Garden.
A view, one of many!
An Acer of some sort.
A Song Thrush with something for the babies in its beak.
The pond with..... not just a Moorhen but a baby too! Only the one but one is better than none. We here at Chateau Moorhen have been starved of baby pompoms these last two years. Sob.
The Orchard - there were many varieties of apple, I presume some local and heritage ones. They stole the show being in perfect full bloom.
Now what I'm going to do, because I have a lot of photos and I don't want to bore you to death, is put the rest of the photos from this visit into a Picasa/Google album and give you the link at the end. I've already whittled these photos down from 176 to 50 (!!) so if you'd like to see more, I have just captioned them where necessary but there is no more blurb from me. Believe me, if you like public gardens, it's worth looking at the rest. More importantly, it's worth visiting here yourself!
But first, I leave you with this gorgeous Robin. I have never managed to get a photo of a Robin before, but I might have guessed there would be some tame bird life around the restaurant terrace! Sure enough, there were Dunnocks, Blackbirds and Sparrows around willing to let you take their photo if you shared a few crumbs with them. Here this Robin is having a bit of my shortbread whilst we sat and enjoyed tea on the very pleasant terrace.
The moment the Robin leapt off the chair towards the crumbs!
For the rest of the photos, please click on this link to my album. Thank you for looking!