Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My First Real English Garden

Hampton Court Herefordshire

It was a dark and gloomy day, but nothing could dampen our spirits as we headed out on the Johnstone Tour. Helen, The Patient Gardener, co-organizer of meet@malvern very kindly put together a delightful tour of the black and white architecture in Ledbury and a visit to Hampton Court and Stockton Bury Garden for Ewa, Frances, Yolanda and me.

Helen, Yolanda and Ewa with camera touring Ledbury

Thank you Helen~It was a wonderful day....filled with memories that I treasure. I will never forget the visit to Hampton Court, the maze (who could forget that), the dark tower we didn't climb, the delicious hot meal at the Orangery and of course, Frances and the cream tea. Memory is a very good thing~because I have very few photos! The dark rainy day meant many photos were blurry and there was that unfortunate issue with the batteries going flat.

But, I do have a few to share!

The kitchen garden is simply splendid~Formally laid out, with bricked walls, hedges and excellent hardscape~and
It was simply lovely to look at~Even though it was early in the growing season, one knew that the vegetables would be healthy and beautiful. I think Helen said that the vegetables grown here are served at their restaurant, the Orangery. The food was tasty and just what was needed on a cold, wet day.

This planting of tulips was made all the more dramatic with the woven fence....Trellises, simply constructed support cages (below in the perennial border) and straight poles were used very effectively all over the garden. I saw fences and trellis's like the one shown above with the tulips at several booths at the Malvern Show. I thought they were reasonably priced compared to what we would pay for the same item in the states. Believe me, I would find a way to use them at C&L!
It was clearly spring at Hampton Court...with tulips, alliums and peonies in bud.
The deep pink tulip was seen massed and in containers. It was a favorite sight.


Even an informal gardening gal like me found lots of ideas to can take home from Hampton Court~ One of my favorites is mowing the lawn at different lengths. I really like it. (Btw, those globes on the photos are raindrops! It started raining quite hard on the tour.)
I call this Boundaried Exuberance! You may be wondering why? Just look!

Getting in a little closer, you can see the bulb leaves, the silvery groundcover and the occasional bulb.
Aren't those leaves wonderful!

What I like about this photo is the figure in the lavender raincoat in the way back of the photo! Click the photo to see her.

Do you see the tiny figure peaking around the corner in the hooded jacket?

In a few weeks these borders are going to incredibly beautiful~I'd love to visit again and see the Kitchen Garden in full bloom and climb the tower to get to see the entire garden and have some of the delicious cream tea in the Orangery. Of all the take aways from my visit to the UK~my favorite is the tradition of serving cake to garden visitors. Yummy, I am thinking about which cakes to make right now!

So stop by for some cake!

xxgail

PS I did have a wonderful visit and I loved spending time with Ewa, Frances, Helen and Yolanda...I can't wait to see their next posts. Rumor has it that they shot thousands of photos without running out of batteries! So do stop by their blogs to see what they are sharing!

Next up on the Two Innocents Abroad Tour will be more beautiful gardens and sunshine!

39 comments:

  1. I agree, those tulips are just wonderful with that fencing. Great closeup of the yummy foliage!

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  2. a-ha! it looks I missed 'Boundaried Exuberance' part of the garden - how is that possible? can we turn back?
    ..
    I loved the kitchen garden - so many ideas to steal :)
    .
    Kiss

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  3. I'd love to stop by for some cake and a tour of C&L. Love these photos, keep 'em coming! That kitchen garden especially looks very inspirational.

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  4. It was wonderful, Gail, and again thanks to you for leading us to that magical land. We were like children in a playground there, it seems the weather did keep the crowds down, or were they all at Malvern? The kitchen garden was beautiful without any plants due to those twig structures. I keep looking at my bushes and trees for likely material. We did focus in on the same Allium, I believe it is A. karativiense, available at Van Engelen. Going on the bulb order for sure. What memories!
    xxxooo,
    Frances

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  5. Gail - you'll be pleased to know that the stalls selling tea and coffee etc to all the people working hard at Chelsea Flower Show have the option to buy tea and cake in the afternoon! It was a very popular option :)

    The kitchen garden at Hampton Court is organic too - so those vegetables will be very healthy indeed.

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  6. I bet your head is still spinning with ideas from this lovely garden.

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  7. Glad you managed to get some photos. I really enjoyed our day out and I have made a mental note of your invitation to visit in the future.
    Helen x

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  8. I see you experienced the glories of the British weather. Now you can see why the country is so green and why we go slightly crazy if we get two days of sun in a row.

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  9. Very cool Gail! I just saw Frances's photos. It's interesting to see the same places from each of your perspectives. The English garden seems formal but also seems so comfortable for some reason.

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  10. keep the photos coming! Love your spring scenes.

    Hampton Court is fabulous! We went one November while my son (The Archaeologist) was in grad school in London. We dined at the restaurant and had fabulous root and cold weather veggies from the kitchen garden.

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  11. Gail you managed to get a lot of wonderful photos in spite of camera problems -- my favorite is the tulips with the woven fence.

    Such amazing gardens -- a perfect mix of the formal and the exuberant.

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  12. Thank you Gail! I was "eating" your pictures with my eyes. Some of them reminded me of the colonial gardens on the east coast (we just came back from the colonial times history tour with fifth-graders).

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  13. How absolutely beautiful.

    That does it, those pictures have convinced me. I am definitely going to do the exact same thing with my backyard:) I'd better get started digging that pool. But what I need first, is a full time gardener.

    Don't you love the way the British weave twigs to use as supports?
    Marnie

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  14. The magic just keeps on coming! How frustrating to have your battery go down... know the feeling too well. You do have some great pics anyway. I love the veggie gardens ... their use of sticks and such remind me of Joanne's garden... when I think of all the material I toss out! I keep meaning to weave a fence and create some rustic arbors! I hope you get to go back to visit there to see the gardens fuller! ;>)

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  15. The photos you did take are great. I can almost see you shivering a bit. Great memories.

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  16. What a fantastic place. The woven fences are great. I need to learn how to make them.

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  17. Beautiful photographs! I love the natural fencing and plant supports, how they blend in with the rest of the garden, rather than stand out.

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  18. Wow Gail, this brings back memories from when I studied abroud in England in 1997! One of our first fieldtips was to HCP--in January! COLD, and certainly not much growing. Thanks for the reminders!

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  19. I adore boundaried exuberance! :) And I think that those bulbs with the cool foliage might be my 'Ivory Queen' alliums. (I think that they are allium karataviense? Spelling might not be right on that, though...)

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  20. Aaah, and oooh. I don't know what else to say. You've already said it so nicely. Boundaried exuberance. I like that.~~Dee

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  21. It looks like it was beautiful! I love the trellises and fencing with the tulips!

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  22. Gail,
    Aren't English gardens amazing? And the kitchen gardens equally so. The interest and passion for gardening is so remarkable, and evident; I do hope we're (as Americans) starting to show similar enthusiasm.

    Cheers,
    Lisa

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  23. Totally gorgeous, even in the damp gloom. It looks like our winter there (that's about the level of jacket we wear in the depths of winter), and yet spring has clearly sprung. I love all that structure and the beautiful paths.

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  24. Despite the rain, it looks like a good time was had by all. How could you not love seeing all that precise gardening? It's really lovely.

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  25. That first photo just takes my breath away, Gail! One glance and you just know this garden is in England, don't you? Love the tulips with the fence, too. And poor Frances--I saw the lavendar raincoat in a close-up on Helen's post:) I told Frances, if I had been there I would have been wearing my lime green coat, so we could have stood out in the crowd together:)

    Cake in the garden sounds wonderful! Looking forward to the next installment of "The Innocents Abroad."

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  26. It sounds wonderful, Gail. I'm so happy for you! I can't wait until I get to my first English garden. That will have to wait until my babies are older, OK they're not really babies anymore but I couldn't leave my toddler for that long. Anyway, it's all beautiful. I love the trellis and support branches.

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  27. Sounds like our weather this spring! But my garden, unfortunately, does not look like this gorgeous one. I love the formality even tho I'm not a formal gardener at all. The kitchen garden looks so tidy & neat ~ I wonder if I could ever achieve that? I also love the twig supports. We should try our hand at making our own!

    These photos are wonderful Gail. Such a fabulous trip. I look forward to reading/hearing more.

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  28. Wonderful photos! Looks like the trip was well worth it and you'll have great memories despite your camera battery problems.

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  29. Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity, to be able to visit such wonderful gardens. :)

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  30. Those woven fences are amazing - obviously something that is done while we would be making snowmen. When I visit a beautiful garden like this one, I often dream of living near-by for a season so I could follow its progress. The allium is definitely something that you want in a position to look down on. It's the sort of plant that should never wear a turtleneck - it's very, very short.

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  31. Beautiful photos! I love the woven fence.

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  32. Great photographs. I just love the tulips and the box edged beds. Fab.

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  33. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Your photos are beautiful, even if they weren't what you wanted. Love those tulips and the hedge borders. So sweet. Wish I'd been there!

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  34. Dear Gail,
    Really enjoying these images ~ rain spots and all. Beautiful gardens I can dream of... love the kitchen garden structures... love the flat stone edging with what looks like small rocks to fill in. That lavender coat came in handy for seeing your co-hort far away. :-) Great times. Meems

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  35. Gail, A few years ago I remember hearing about these ladies who were planning extended travel. They called themselves "Three broads abroad."

    Beautiful gardens. The weather sounds about like what's going on here. Enjoy it for a few minutes, then run for cover.

    Have a fabulous weekend.

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  36. Not only beautiful gardens but so many useful and economical ideas. Those allium leaves give Pam at Digging a run for the money with her aloes.

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  37. What do you mean by the dark tower WE did not climb? I did, you guys were too chicken. ;-) Thanks for this purrfect post that describes a purrrrfect day.

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  38. i had to come back again to visit the paving/gravel in the veg garden; so elegant and practical. Trying to figure out if there is anywhere I could do something similar!

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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