Gardens Open 27th May 2018
from 12 – 5pm
This year we will be opening for the NGS
Admission is £5 and, as per usual we will have refreshments and a plant sale
All of the net proceeds from the sale of refreshments
and most of those from the plant sale will go to St Peters Church Freston.
‘Hillside’ will also be open at the same time.
Although not under the NGS scheme, the entrance price will be reduced
Following the success of the spring opening in 2017, we have decided to open in the late spring again in 2018.
The Purple Garden with its mass plantings of early-flowering perennials and bulbs including Allium ‘Globemaster’ & ‘Purple Sensation’, iris sibirica, lupins, osteospermum and dozens of varieites of bearded iris should be looking at its best. In the Cottage Garden, the arching stems of the Kolkwitzia ‘Pink Cloud’ will be smothered with fragrant pink flowers, complementing the ruby-red peonies, geraniums and dianthus. Many of the shrub borders will also be in flower, from the yellows of early roses and laburnums to the whites of Spirea ‘Snowmound’ and physocarpus ‘Diabolo’. There’ll still be plenty to see in the large winter garden too. Originally inspired by Anglesey Abbey, highlights of the planting there include bright red-stemmed cornus, silver-stemmed rubus, variegated holly, mahonias, hellebores, a grove of betula ‘Jacquemontii’ (the white-barked Himalayan Birch) heavily scented lonicera purpusii & hamamelis and mature prunus serulla with its wonderful glossy, copper-red peeling bark. And finally, the thousand or so varieites of hostas, which are slowly being planted out in the woodlands, will be newly in leaf.
We also have a slightly different selection of plants for sale compared to the spring open garden, but a similar number of varieties; over 100 in total including penstemon, agapanthus, dahlias, achillea and even some hot chilli plants!
The Gardens in Spring
There are many varieties of trees, shrubs and especially perennials that have finished flowering before visitors to the summer Open Garden can appreciate them. Our selection of spring-flowering plants includes the following :
Iris – we have a collection of about 40 varieities of mainly Bearded but also Siberian, Dutch and other types of iris. Most of them flower in late spring.
Lupins – our relatively light soil and mild(ish) winters seem to suit lupins. They generally reward us with a spectacular late spring show of colour, particularly in the purple garden where they’re planted in drifts. We mainly have pink hybrids, but have started to experiment with other named varieties.
Peonies – often undervalued due to their short flowering season, their brief moment of late-spring glory is something to savour. We like the traditional rich ruby-red shades, which we’ve used in the cottage garden.
Flowering Cherries – no spring garden is complete without the blossom of at least one flowering cherry. As well as several of the traditional ‘Sato’ cherries (prunus serrulata), of which ‘Kazan’ is our favourite, we also grow some of the smaller prunus incisa varieties as medium-sized shrubs.
We have many other spring-flowering trees, shrubs and perennials including rhododendrons, laburnum, lilacs, a large planting of probably the earliest flowering rose (xanthina ‘Canary Bird’), choisyas, spirea, deutzias, the incredibly floriferous Pearlbush (exocharda x macrantha ‘The Bride’), aquilegia, several varieties of allium, campanulas, tradascantia, the semi-hardy zantedeshias and early-flowering clematis, including alpinas and, of course, montanas.
Other noteable year-round stalwarts in flower in the spring include osteospermum jucundum and several varieties of dianthus and geraniums.
Finally, late spring visitors can also see the winter garden at something close to its best. Although just in leaf, the bright red and yellow stems of the cornus ‘Sibirica’ and ‘Flaviramea’, the orange stems of the pollarded willows, the sliver stems of rubus cockburnianus and the near-white trunks of the himalayan birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii) can still be seen.
A selection of the many Bearded Iris cultivars in the gardens. Press the arrows to scroll.