Thursday, 15 August 2013

A visit to Mum and to Barnsdale Gardens (part 1)

I have been a little quiet over the last few days (an unusual occurrence for me!) as I have been staying with my mum.  I had intended to go and stay in June, but she got a cold, so the visit was postponed until now.  It was lovely to be able to spend some time helping her in the garden, re-potting tubs, planting new plants and pottering.  There was just one thing I definitely had to do while I was there and that was to visit Barnsdale Gardens, which belonged to the late Geoff Hamilton and are run today by his son, Nick.  I used to be a frequent visitor to the gardens, but hadn't visited for two and a half years!  I took a mass of photos, but will split them up into a couple of posts, so I hope they will be enjoyable to look through.  The garden above and following was created by Dan Pearson (something I didn't know), who is now known for his prairie style of planting.  This one shows a productive garden with a mini-maze, and the most beautiful rose 'Crimson Showers', entreating the visitor to enter.
 Isn't the rose wonderful?  I do enjoy looking through an arch and wondering what is on the other side.
Barnsdale Gardens are made up of lots of small gardens or areas, showing many different styles of garden design.  Geoff Hamilton built several of them for television series, such as the Cottage Gardens and Paradise Gardens. I always take a few ideas away with me from all the different areas.
 This garden is a complete contrast to the rose filled one, with muted colours and lots of green.  It was a very calm space, with just the trickle of an unobtrusive water feature.
 There was also some artwork on show in the gardens (always interesting, sometimes controversial!) and this was the first piece I spotted, which looked at home in the wooded area. 
This was a new garden to me and did give the feeling of a coastal garden, with a shingle beach.
 Another lovely arch; really dark inside but with the light tempting me onward.
 A productive apple and pear arch, leading towards the allotment area.  It had a lot of fruit on it.
 I enjoyed the 'mad hair' of this ornamental grass, its exuberance contrasting with the formality of the urn.
 One of the vegetable gardens which was also very productive.  Most of the vegetable areas had been companion planted with marigolds in bright yellows and oranges.  Normally, I am not drawn to those colours, but the planting was so cheerful, how could I resist?
 Beautiful bright and cheerful colours.
 My favourite seat in the gardens.  I love to sit here for a while and listen to the birds and just relax...
This is the view from the seat, looking back towards the entrance, which was lovely and restful.
More from my visit in the next post.


  1. Thank you for the lovely tour :-)!
    I always love those arches too.... Not someting I would do in our own garden though; not quite big enough!
    Those roses are soooo pretty....
    Love from Mirjam.

    1. Dear Mirjam
      Thank you. It would be lovely to have a garden where I could have several arches! The roses were beautiful and they had a good fragrance too and seems to have a long flowering period. Another one for the wish list, I think!
      Best wishes

  2. Those are lovely photos Ellie. I have only ever been to Barnsdale in spring time so it was nice to see it in the height of summer.

    1. Dear Anne
      Thank you. There are some more photos to come in the next post. It is lovely in Spring with all the blossom though - especially my favourite seat!
      Best wishes