Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west

Garden visits

4 Nightingale Mews, Locks Heath, near Southampton

A new opening for the NGS this year, Mrs Kath Stratton’s garden is three miles west of Fareham, and won a gold award for hanging and wall baskets in Fareham in Bloom. It’s a very colourful steeply sloping terraced garden 65ftx75ft, established over five years and divided into varied sections including a shady white garden with a water feature. A shelled gazebo at the top has stunning views of the striking planting, sculptures and planted roof garden. A lower patio, with hanging baskets and pots, has seats to see different perspectives of trees and shrubs in the tiered garden.

Wick Village Gardens, near Pershore, Worcestershire

Opening their gardens biennially, Wick village just a mile from Pershore has some new gardens to show to visitors this time, as well as the spectacle of 25 acres of confetti fields (Wick is the home of The Real Flower Petal Company). With new alpine gardens, a small arboretum, pergola walks, courtyard gardens and a display of garden implements there is something of interest behind every garden gate.

Avon Dassett Gardens, Southam, Warwickshire

There’s a whole range of gardens to explore in this pretty Hornton stone village seven miles north of Banbury, sheltering in the lee of the Burton Dassett hills, with kitchen gardens, gravel and tropical gardens, and plants including alpines, herbaceous, perennials, roses, climbers and shrubs. Apart from visiting the gardens there’s lots to see at the art exhibition, another exhibition, book sale, plant tombola and the two churches are open.

The Mill House, Netherbury, Dorset

Michael and Giustina Ryan’s six and a half acres around the River Brit has a mill stream and mill pond, formal walled, terraced and vegetable gardens, and a bog garden. Wander through the wild garden planted with many rare and interesting trees including conifers, magnolias, fruit trees and oaks. The next opening is combined with 2 Pyes Plot, a small front and back courtyard garden where every inch is used creatively. Cream walls and black paintwork make a striking framework for softer planting. Climbing plants, foliage and a running water feature enhance the peaceful atmosphere.

Luscombe Farm, Buckfastleigh, Devon

This walled garden two and a half miles from the A38 junction at Buckfastleigh was designed and created by Julian and Jasmin David in the 1960s. A formal garden with fastigiate yews and box hedging and topiary, loosely planted with roses, shrubs, perennials, annuals and bi-annuals, it has a magical feel and great views across the Dart valley.

Open for the NGS: Saturday 13th, Sunday 14th June, 10.30am-5pm. Admission: £3.50, children free. Plants for sale. Dogs allowed. Wheelchair access.

Lower Grenofen, Tavistock, Devon

Another new garden for the NGS this year, there are 46 acres at Lower Grenofen near Tavistock in a designated Area of Natural Beauty (mainly a Site of Special Scientific Interest) with woodland walks on the banks of the River Walkham. Nicola Evans and Steven Nash’s two-acre cultivated secluded garden has lawns, wildlife ponds, a rill with raised beds, also a bog and waterfall to a terrace with glazed outdoor rooms. There are perennial cottage plants and native wild flowers, and specimen acers.

Woodbury Gardens, Woodbury near Exeter, Devon

A new opening for the NGS this year, these are two pretty gardens in the centre of this attractive East Devon village. Tim Andrews Gallery and Garden is a compact, well stocked garden with emphasis on foliage planting, punctuated by sculptures from leading artists. There’s a pond/water feature and a vegetable/fruit garden. The attached gallery with a current international exhibition will also be open. Haydons, in Bonfire Lane, is a cottage style corner garden landscaped into three different areas.

Horn Park, Beaminster, Dorset

A large, plantsman’s garden owned by Mr and Mrs David Ashcroft, with a magnificent view to the sea. This is a garden of contrasts, from the formal to the wild. There are many rare and mature plants and shrubs to discover in the terraced, herbaceous, rock and water gardens. Then wander into the woodland garden and walk in the bluebell woods. A lovely wild flower meadow has 164 varieties including orchids. Later in the year there’s good autumn colouring.

Middle Well, Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon

Neil and Pam Millward will be opening their garden this year in aid of Avon Vale Tennis and Croquet Club (the second oldest grass court club in the country).  There will be tea and coffee in the morning and teas later, with plants, books, jams and other produce for sale.
The garden has a wide range of perennials, trees, shrubs and bulbs and several interesting architectural/hard landscaping features. The four-acre plot contains many different habitats including wet and dry woodland, pasture, streams and walled, intensively planted areas and vegetable plots – and work is ongoing!

Nailsworth Gardens, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Two gardens in the village of Nailsworth, four miles south of Stroud are opening together, both for the first time for the NGS: Floris House, owned by designer and artist Elly Austin, is planted in a free-flowing style down a series of terraces, while Springfields, owned by Andrew Joyce, is more formal, with water features, beds of perennials, roses and shrubs, and several viewing points to give the impression of its being a much larger garden.

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