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.
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.
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!
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!