I am a big fan of the National Garden Scheme also known as the NGS!
I love visiting gardens such as the large RHS Gardens, but I also love visiting smaller / personal gardens, loving created by people who love to share their pride and joy with visitors, whilst raising money for charity.
Over the years I have tried to get to as many gardens operating under the NGS as I can, but there are still many on the list in my area that I am eager to visit.
As I regularly write blog posts about particular flowers, I often recommend particular gardens in the NGS to visit, as not only will it be a great day out, but it is also good to support our local neighbourhood gardeners. You can learn so much by visiting these gardens, admiring their planting schemes and asking the owners questions.
If you are looking to redesign your garden, or add to your garden and are looking for inspiration, these gardens are ideal! As often we can be a little intimidated by the larger grander gardens that are looked after by teams of gardeners. If you want to know which plants would be suitable in your area, visiting local gardens gives you a great opportunity to see which plants work for your soil conditions.
Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting the Cerne Abbas Open Gardens in Dorset. I had been a few years ago and was looking forward to a return visit.
The weather was perfect which always makes a visit to a garden extra special. The Cerne Abbas Village is stunning.
If you want to visit a typical traditional English village, then this is a must visit.
25 gardens took part in the weekend. If you love investigating every crook and cranny of old walls and pathways, you will enjoy visiting this village as there is always some thing interesting to see.
The photo on the right was taken as I was looking over an old wall admiring the view. The rose and rose bud was beautiful and I thought it would make a nice photo for this blog post.
We didn’t make it around all of the gardens, but really enjoyed the ones we ‘discovered’ as we walked around the village. As I walked around the streets, down various paths and small alley ways, I was reminded of one of my favourite childhood stories – The Secret Garden. As you looked for the yellow posters and open gates, you were never sure what you would find. The gardens fitted each other like a perfectly made jigsaw puzzle, and if you had a peek over the walls you would get a brief view of the next door garden’s delights.
The flowers that were in abundance throughout the gardens was the stunning rose, in gorgeous colours and tones such as white, pink and red. Astrantia was also a popular plant in these gardens and to be honest I can see why. I have a fondness for this lovely flower, the colours and detail complement so many other plants, and when the sun catches their petals they just look stunning!
Not only were the plants beautiful to look at, but also the scent made the whole presentation even better. You could tell that the bees were enjoying their dinner, but I was also mesmerised by the varying scents of the tea roses and honeysuckle. WOW!! If I had a chair and a mug of tea in hand, I wouldn’t have been able to move for hours!
No garden visit would be complete without a cup of tea of cold drink. We enjoyed an ice cream and an elderflower presse at Abbots Brasserie and Tea Garden. There are a couple of tea rooms and pubs in Cerne Abbas, so plenty of places for a drink and something to eat.
If you would like to visit the Cerne Abbas Open Garden weekend, then they will be holding the next event next year on the 18th- 19th June 2011, so make sure you add it to your diary, as you are sure to have a lovely time.
If you would like to visit a local NGS garden near to you, you can select the county that you live on the NGS website and a detailed list with photographs will be shown. You can also pick up little yellow NGS booklets at various tourist information points, for more information.