Every once in a while, one has a ‘perfect day’ – where everything fits into place and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
This year’s Open Gardens at Long Melford was one of those special days – with lovely weather and a feast of beautiful gardens to visit.
I had great fun capturing some memorable images to pay tribute to the hard work of the villagers in caring and preparing their gardens for this day of celebration. Long Melford is a very picturesque village at any time of year – so to go ‘behind the scenes’ into individual gardens was a great treat for me and hundreds of fellow visitors.
This year I was determined not to miss out on some gardens that I had left out before due to lack of time – so I decided to start at the far end of the village at Doghouse Cottage. I then worked my way numerically through – and managed to visit 11 of the gardens on show. I am very pleased to share my images with you.
Garden 1 – Doghouse Cottage
I do hope this beautiful garden will continue to be cherished by its prospective new owners – and I look forward to the current owners creating a special garden at their new home in the village for us to visit in years to come …
Today, the Dublin Bay Rose was looking magnificent against the side of the house and the overall effect was one of a beautiful cottage garden.
Garden 2 – Beech Cottage
This was a new garden for me to visit – and I was enthralled by the beautiful plants – especially the Ali Baba Rose on the archway, the Actinidia kolomikta vine and the Hosta/Agapanthus arrangement on the patio.
Garden 3 – Holy Trinity Church
The planting around the almshouses and church really impressed me this year. It was so lovely to see the Cornflowers featured again – and the roses set around the church were magnificent. I especially liked the Ox-Eye Daisies and Valerian which had been left to grow naturally around the gravestones.
Garden 4 – Sloane Cottage
Always a favourite of mine, Sloane Cottage did not disappoint this year. Such friendly hosts, together with Teddy, Gordon and Dolly – and wonderful planting, as always. The Peonies, Gladioli, Lupins and Clematis were all perfect …
Garden 6 – The Mill
This was another first for me – and I was delighted to spend some time chatting with the friendly gardener who tended this peaceful haven. I was particularly drawn to the outstanding Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’, which had entwined itself around an attractive arbour seat.
Garden 7 – Hanwell House
Another favourite of mine – by virtue of the owner’s superb Hosta collection. This garden has inspired my own love of Hostas and I have chosen my varieties based on the examples grown here. I am keen to source a Hosta with blue/grey leaves, so was pleased to chat with the owner to discover that I need to find ‘Halcyon’ when I visit the Hosta specialists at Mickfield next week.
Garden 8 – The Posting House
This garden is one of my favourites – and I was so pleased to be visiting again. I was lucky to meet some very interesting people including the botanical artist Sandie Hawkins and her husband David – a keen amateur photographer. I was able to take time out for refreshments and watched Sandie work on an amazing drawing of an Iris.
The garden itself was beautiful, with plenty of Alliums for me to enjoy. I also really loved the Raspberry Ripple Rose.
Garden 9 – Melford Court Care Home
This garden was all about the magnificent Copper Beech – which was too large to capture with my camera. I would love to know how old it is …
The other highlight was an impressive Ceanothus by a weeping willow.
Garden 10 – Greenways
I was so pleased to visit this garden again – as I love the views of the meadows beyond. The extremely friendly owners have not been here long, however, they have created a wonderful garden. I was impressed how quickly it has matured and it is clear how much care and attention has been paid here. I also enjoyed meeting Lexi, the gorgeous Cream Retriever, who was very laid back about people coming into her garden !
Garden 11 – Mia Casa
Next door to Greenways, with the same enviable view of the meadows, Case Mia is a lovely garden – with the bonus of a bird singing beautiful songs during my visit …
Garden 13 – 8, St Catherine’s Road
A beautiful white rose was the highlight of this garden …
Other Beautiful Flowers & Views of the Village
Long Melford is truly a wonderful village – and there was no shortage of beautiful views to photograph. Melford Hall, the Old School and some lovely front gardens near to Holy Trinity Church were all there to add to my enjoyment of the day. A truly splendid rose in Prospect Terrace was also a highlight – and Brook House, with its brick & timber facade and rambling white rose was a sight that made me catch my breath.
I always find it difficult to decide on my favourite garden of the day, however, I feel that I should choose my top 3 gardens in recognition of the high standard of creativity & hard work displayed by the garden owners this year. Many apologies to those gardens I didn’t have time to visit …
I am pleased to announce that my favourites were as follows -:
1 – Sloane Cottage
2 – Holy Trinity Church & Almshouses
3 – Joint honours for Greenways, Hanwell House & The Posting House.
Every garden was wonderful to visit and I would like to thank all the owners for letting me take my photographs.
The only thing that remains is to say that I will be back next year for yet another perfect day !