Monday, 27 June 2011

Sunshiney Day

Yesterday was 'Open Gardens' in the village where my parents live.  So we hopped in the car and drove down to help, as their garden was one of the ones that was open to visitors.

It's a beautiful garden, so I'll take you on a tour!

First, head through the gate...

...past the hollyhocks in the front garden (where they were planted)...

...and down the side of the house (where they have self-seeded).

Go through the gate into the little courtyard...

Between the house and the granny flat a pretty lady gazes demurely to the side...

There's a pretty old sink that came from the yard in my first house in Cheshire...

...and a very large snail!  (Don't worry - he's polite enough to leave the hostas alone!)

Walk between the granny flat and the hayloft...

...past the fernery...

...and stop awhile under the copper beech. 
Here, you can always find a refreshing breeze.  No matter how sultry the day, there's respite to be had beneath its enormous span.

Step into the sun again and admire the waterlilies...

A rather stern heron reigns over this bit of the garden, though the pond has no fish these days.

Walk beneath the fragrant arch...

...past the old greenhouse and down to the 'tennis court' beyond.  No-one's played tennis here for many a long year (when we were young we'd try, but the lawn was full of moss in those days and no self-respecting ball would bounce on it!)  My Dad does an 'ace' job with the stripes though!

Turn around and you'll see my favourite climbing tree, an ancient apple tree.

It's a fair few years since I shinned up that one though!
There's a row of topiary where the end of the greenhouse used to be...

There are a few nice places to sit. Here's just one.

If you look amidst the foliage you may see Venus rising from a shell...

There are flowers aplenty.
Towers of sweet peas that fill me with nostalgia - it was always my job to pick these when I was young...


Spikes of bright pink and lavender...

(You probably guessed,  I don't know what this is called!)

My parents have lived in the house for thirty-six years, and during that time, my Mum (Head Gardener), ably assisted by my Dad (Assistant Gardener), has transformed the garden from a neglected wilderness to the beauty it is today.

In the 1920s a Miss Dugan (who lived in the house along with her sister and brother) had the garden laid out, spending a vast £500 on the job.  The long, thinnish plot was separated into a series of different garden 'rooms'.  Most of these divisions remain, creating varied areas, each with its own individual look.

I think my Mum has done a great job of taming the garden, whilst keeping to the design so thoughtfully planned out all those years ago.

Here's one of the bits from the original garden we'd like to reinstate...

The old summerhouse, that used to sit just above the tennis court.  A particularly fierce wind put paid to it sometime in the early 1980s   : (    
Maybe if I practised my woodwork a bit more, I could re-build it!!!


  1. Oh Dear Alix ~ Thank you so much for the simply wonderful tour of your parents' delightful garden! I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it! It's such a credit to them. I particularly loved the sweet little granny flat and hollyhocks too ~ oh, all of it! Yes, it would be marvellous if that adorable little summerhouse could be reinstated (go on, have a go!). This is what I love about reading lovely people's blogs ~ all the wonderful tours and inspiration ~ but I feel bad not even paying for the privilege! So thank you very much for taking us along! :) Love Brenda (And thank you SO much for your lovely comment and kind words on my last post!)

  2. Ooooh that is all so very beautiful! I would've loved to have visited!
    I love the rose arch...and that old summerhouse!! ;-) x

  3. Your parents' garden is just beautiful. How lucky to have grown up there. And I've been trying to remember what hollyhocks were called - thanks!

  4. A lovely garden and how great that you have the old photos and a history to go with it.

  5. What a lovely much work...just beautiful:)

  6. Amazing!!! Just like a stately home garden...xxxx

  7. hi Alix - see you've been over at mine so popped over here to say hello! and I'm glad i did - the pictures from your parents pad are beautiful - and how wonderful that they've got some of how it used to look all those years ago.
    Gives me hope that when my potentially beautiful garden ceases to be a football pitch I will be able to create something pretty...
    nice to meet you
    fee x