In April I was invited by the Bretforton Garden Club www.bretforton-gardenclub.co.uk to speak to their members on design principles. It was a lively evening and was well attended by the keen and enthusiastic gardeners of Bretforton and the surrounding villages.
Last Sunday afternoon on a perfect late spring afternoon I set out to visit the club’s Open Gardens event.
On arriving in Bretforton, a picturesque little village some 5 miles east of Evesham, the streets were lined with parked cars and visitors were walking up and down clutching their maps showing the eight gardens that were open for the day – indicators that the event was to be well-supported.
I visited the Ark Antique shop to purchase my ticket.
All the gardens were packed with colour and interest and the endeavours of these keen green fingered villagers were there for all to see and enjoy.
The vagaries of the weather this year has brought about a sudden blossoming of all things herbaceous and plant associations not often seen outside of RHS Show gardens!
Peonies which haven’t dropped yet!
Oriental Poppies – Pattys Plum – looking perfect!
Wild flower meadows looking stunning in the spring sunshine
After visiting the “theatre” which is the annual Chelsea Flower Show last month, it was good to go into “real” gardens owned, gardened and cherished by real horticultural enthusiasts.
There were some delights and surprises through every garden gate!
Small tranquil garden full of cottage garden favourites
Billowing pink Tamarisk
Pots don’t have to be planted to look great and provide a focal point
A shady pathway entices you through to explore the garden
A sheltered place to take a break
A creative and decorative insect house!
Viburnum blossom pom poms against a peerless blue sky
A little path between the houses!
I met up with Rita Booth the secretary of the Garden Club at Bretforton Manor on Main Street where she was busy handing out plans to visitors and she was rightly pleased with the high attendance – a just reward for all the hard work put in by the organisers and the gardeners.
The half timbered thatched roof cider barn – a popular venue as it provided tea and cakes!
The Manor, the largest of the gardens open covers some five acres and has recently been redesigned and replanted. Among its many listed structures are a dovecote, an aviary and a cider barn.
The Dovecote with beautifully shaped yew trees
The recently restored tranquil lake
Elegant symmetry in the walled garden
A shady yew tree lined avenue
Lovely stripey lawns of the Manor
A local feline having a well deserved rest in the sun
The afternoon was drawing to a close so I made my way back to The Cross in the centre of the village passing by the ancient pub, The Fleece Inn, now owned by the National Trust.
The side of the Fleece Inn and neighbouring garden
A big thank you to all the Garden Club members who allowed their gardens to be opened today to give inspiration and enjoyment to other gardeners.
If you are interested in joining the Bretforton Garden Club do visit their website (shown at the top of this blog) for more information.