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17/11/2013 at 11:26

Talking on another thread about visiting the wonderful garden of a stately home next summer, I thought it would be interesting to think about what we get out of such visits.

There are amazing plants and fantastic hard landscaping, structure and water features etc that we cannot possibly replicate in our gardens, coupled with space, facilities and staff that we can only dream of.

Apart from wallowing in the sheer beauty of it all, what do you take home to your garden?


17/11/2013 at 12:09

Hello again everyone (had a v. busy summer, so could not post anything) Dove, I adore going to see big gardens, sometimes with a neighbour who has a big herbacious border and we behave like 2 school girls on a day trip. At Houghton Hall this summer, I think we were more excited by the gardens than by the stunning Art Exhibition. We always come away with ideas for planting, summer houses, composting; we track down the gardeners and bombard them with questions, in fact we generally make a nuisance of ourselves.

17/11/2013 at 12:11

Oooh Hello artjak - good to see you again   Were you at Houghton Hall too?  We went with friends to look at the art, but we stayed on to wander the gardens and grounds - and to buy plants 

17/11/2013 at 12:13

First of all it's a great way of relaxing so it's good for body and soul.  Then, of course, ideas of what I do and don't like, plant combinations to copy or inspire, new plants I haven't seen in the flesh before and, if I'm lucky, some goodies from the plant sweetie shop at the end but they don't always have one and some are over-priced or badly cared for.  I was thoroughly disappointed and rather disgusted by the offerings when I went to Sissinghurst but Great Dixter certainly made up for that.    

17/11/2013 at 16:27

Thank you Dove, which gardens did you visit last summer?

17/11/2013 at 17:10

Hello artjak, welcome back.

I'm having a year off next year. No big projects, no opening my garden, no commitments. I shall be visiting gardens. All recommendations considered.

17/11/2013 at 17:16

I love garden visiting - for spotting new plants, what looks good with what and generally just soaking up the atmosphere.  Each winter I think I must do more visiting - but then my garden seems to monopolise all my time once the summer comes round again.  I need more weekends !!

17/11/2013 at 17:35

Hello Nutcutlet, thank you. I went to Stow Bardolph (?) some years ago and that was lovely. But my fave visit this year was when doing my 'compost master' thing at some allotments in Hunstanton; I learnt so much; from a brilliant pipe and gutter arrangement around a small greenhouse for catching rain, to just the standard of the veg and the plots were big! Much bigger than my humble veg bed, those allotmenteers worked very hard. They all seemed to rub along pretty well together, though I have heard about 2 other allotments in Norfolk where the people seem to be at loggerheads all the time; v. sad.

I like the garden in Wisbech attached to Peckover House, they have some wonderful trees. All these places as you may agree, benefit from being visited before August, after that they can present a rather tired look.

17/11/2013 at 17:46

Nothing to add only wanted to say missed you artjak...was so chuffed when you liked my old apple tree.

17/11/2013 at 17:55

I like Peckover House artjak.

I  like that blousy, overgrown, end of season look as well, I first visited Peckover House in that state.

17/11/2013 at 18:16

I keep meaning to visit Peckover House - it's been on my list for ages!  We didn't get out to many this summer as we were so busy working on this one and visiting the Aged Ps.  We went to The Old Vicarage at East Ruston and Houghton Hall and have visited Nutcutlet's garden twice this year.  We also had a guided tour of Touchwood  in South Wales, home of the two National Collections of Aquilegias.  

Now I've got more time on my hands I hope to get out more!!!

17/11/2013 at 18:21

If you go to Peckover it's worth going the extra half a mile for Elgood's Brewery garden. Might not be worth too many miles they fit in well for one trip

17/11/2013 at 19:02

17/11/2013 at 19:41

Big thumbs up for Peckover from me too - its where OH got the inspiration for my obelisks !

17/11/2013 at 20:36

Spotting new plants is probably the main thing we 'get' from visiting stately homes.  We do enjoy the opportunity to wander around large gardens for the exercise and fresh air too.

We actually prefer to visit the Yellow Book gardens as they are more likely to provide practical inspiration and to be a source of new plants.  As we are in the process of completely re-doing the garden we can get plants at lower prices than the local garden centre, and find plants not stocked by the GC's too.

17/11/2013 at 22:50

I love visiting gardens and we usually manage to see some each time we go to England and buy plants to take home (France). Earlier this year I started a thread with photos of gardens we have visited.

Good to hear from you again, Artjak. Wondered where you'd gone.

18/11/2013 at 21:00

Kef and Busy-Lizzie, thank you.

KT53, how do you get hold of the 'yellow book'?

18/11/2013 at 21:12

Yellow Book can be ordered direct from the ngs artjak but you can get the little county ones free from GCs,Tourist infos, libraries and people that open their gardens.

Next years will be out around February. any early opening snowdrop gardens are in this year's book

18/11/2013 at 21:53
Yellow book has a website too, with a handy feature that lets you search for gardens within an x mile radius. Handy if like me you live on the border of 3 counties !
19/11/2013 at 18:16

Nut, thank you, Chicky; I do also; Cambs, Norfolk and Lincs. Which are your 3 counties?

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