The arrival of June heralded Open Garden Season with a flourish – and saw me visiting Boxford’s annual celebration for the 4th year in a row. It is always a highlight of my year !
The weather was sunny and very hot, as usual – and I knew that visiting 31 gardens in 5 hours would be impossible, especially as I wanted to ensure the quality of my images was kept to a high standard. I still had a thoroughly enjoyable time even though I only managed to visit 11 gardens.
The following images are my favourites from the day …
Always my starting place for the day’s visits; I am never disappointed.
The plants on show are always impressive – and this year I was particularly struck by the ferns and other foliage species near the stream.
5, Church Street
This courtyard garden had undergone a major transformation since first opening last year. The new owners have worked hard and created a delightful extension to their living space. I would be extremely happy to have such a wonderful garden for relaxing in.
I always love to pop my head into the back garden of this little house. Preserved as a museum by the church and cared for by the village parishioners – it has a quaint backyard filled with cottage garden plants & vibrant colours.
A delightful, large walled garden, where the owners have successfully blended several different themes together, providing plenty of interest for the visitor. Gorgeous roses, vintage touches and cottage garden plants. I was especially pleased to see the lovely irises – always a joy ( and challenge) to photograph.
17 Swan Street
I’m always pleased to see Guy’s potted Hosta collection, which was looking splendid, as always. His Constance Spry rose is late flowering this year, however, there were other beauties to enjoy – such as the warm orange foxglove working perfectly against the old brick wall. Hacker, the Norfolk Terrier, made a brief appearance to have his tummy tickled !
Maggie Thorpe’s garden is always one of my favourites. Although it is relatively small, she has designed it beautifully, with lots of more unusual plants. The cascading urn always looks splendid, as does the Carpenteria californica.
This was a new garden for 2019 and the owner was an artist; displaying her attractive lino cut artwork. My favourites here were the Clematis – especially ‘Ville de Lyon’, as well her vintage rhubarb pots.
45, Swan Street
This was another new garden for me. It had a perfect cottage-garden feel to it, with Foxgloves, Lupins and Roses. Unfortunately, the owner didn’t know the name of the wonderful pale pink rose which rambled against the wall of the cottage, as it had pre-dated her move there.
2 Cox Hill
It was time to leave Swan Street and walk a short distance to Cox Hill. These were my favourite images from Ginny Budd’s garden. I have to admit that is was Ginny’s beautiful new dog, Gyp, who stole the attention this time !
Time was passing by quickly, so I headed back to the car in order to make my way to Groton & Edwardstone. There were many pretty gardens in view on the way – and these were my 2 favourite images …
Crown House, Groton
I always look forward to my trip up to Crown House to see Chloris’ wonderful garden. I could spend the whole day just photographing the beautiful plants there. Always keen to expand her planting, there have been new beds created since last year with some impressive Irises. A mixture of Cedric Morris and new varieties created by Chloris herself. I never fail to fall in love with the impressive rose collection and ‘Phyllis Bide’ was looking wonderful on the archway in the secret garden.
The French Lavender ‘Papillon’ was my favourite plant this year – looking wild & romantic, set off perfectly by its gravel bed.
My last garden of the day, which was luckily open until 5pm. I was the last person to visit this very special place – and there were many many views and beautiful plants to capture. This was my favourite garden of 2018 – and I have to say that I haven’t changed my mind for this year. The vistas, roses and especially the gorgeous Lupins were enthralling. The owners and their friends were very welcoming, as were their 2 dogs – Bella & Daisy. I would really love to own this garden, although I’m sure a great deal of hard work goes on behind the scenes to create the finished effect !
I will be writing a separate blog dedicated to Dormers because I so many images that I wish to share.
Time had unfortunately run out for my garden visits, however the heat of the day had made me feel very tired so it was probably just as well. Although I should have liked to see more of the gardens, I was so pleased to have seen such beauty and creativity in the ones I did explore. I suggested longer opening hours to the organiser as I left, although the village seemed deserted of all other visitors as I drove on my way home.
My own “Garden Awards’ for this year are as follows :-
1st Place – Dormers
2nd Place – Crown House
3rd Place – Weavers House & Hendrick House ( Jt)