With RHS Chelsea under our belts, our enthusiasm for ‘all things horticultural’ awakened and our gardens burgeoning with the wonderful colours of Late Spring – what better way for me to start my new blog than with a pictorial account of my first Open Gardens Photoshoot of 2016 ..?!
Long Melford is one of Suffolk’s most picturesque villages, with its long main street of listed buildings and cosy cottages, rising uphill to give visitors a splendid vista of Holy Trinity Church beyond an impressive village green. With the National Trust’s Melford Hall to their right and its near neighbour Kentwell Hall ( both Tudor mansions) just beyond the church – the village is a Mecca for visitors wishing to immerse themselves in the grandeur and beauty of this former wool village.
The weather was disappointing for visitors, after a reasonable preceding fortnight of sun and light breezes – however, the cloudy skies presented me with the perfect conditions for my flower photography; despite a keen wind at times.
This was my first visit to Long Melford’s Open Gardens and I was extremely excited. There were 18 gardens on show (although one was the village cricket pitch !) and I managed to visit 17 of them.
I found all the garden owners to be very friendly, welcoming, helpful and immensely dedicated to their own special ‘patch’. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting each and every garden, although I did have my special favourites. I will reveal these at the end – in case anyone reading is tempted to visit next year, or if fellow visitors wish to compare notes against their No. 1 choice ?
I must say, however, that there was certainly a garden to suit everyone’s taste – from the modest to the grand – and enough inspirational flowers and planting designs to compete with the best of Chelsea…!
I didn’t visit the gardens in numerical order, however, I think it is easiest to list them that way. If I don’t have a photo for a particular garden – it is not because I wasn’t impressed – sometimes photos don’t turn out quite how you expect them to …
Garden 1 – Doghouse Cottage
A long walk was worth the effort – although the wind had started to blow with force by late afternoon. The Wisteria sinensis was looking glorious …
Garden 2 – Holy Trinity Church
Garden 3 – Fern House
Garden 4 – Sloane Cottage
Garden 5 – Melford Hall
Garden 6 – Brook House
A wonderful display of Iris sibirica in the garden of this handsome ‘Hall House’ originating from the Elizabethan era.
Garden 7 – Number 10, Spring Gardens
Garden 8 – Number 2, Hanwell House, Spring Gardens
Garden 9 – Sun House
…and the ‘Piece de resistance’ …
Garden 10 – Eldon Cottage
A pretty cottage garden dedicated to Wildflowers and Wildlife …
Garden 11 – The Posting House
An amazing garden – long & luscious, with many different plant habitats. A wonderful plant stall packed to the brim with gorgeous plants propagated from the lovely species on view.
This pale lemon Aquilegia caught my eye …
Garden 14 – Mia Casa
A smaller garden with the most amazing view of meadows, with willows and grazing cows. The foxgloves suited it perfectly …
Garden 15 – Bishops Rock
Although this was a more modern property, the garden evoked a sense of a bygone era – with its splendid herbaceous border and its cottage garden plants. I found my favourite Aquilegia of the day; along with Lupins, Alliums and an exquisitively-perfumed White Lilac …
Garden 17 – St Mary’s Hall
So here’s to a successful and thoroughly enjoyable day spent in a quintessential English village – I really hope you like my pictorial journey. Now for my own special awards …
My particular favourites evoked a sense of romanticism in me – either because they were filled with my favourite types of flowers, or because they stretched my imagination to envisage what could be possible in my own very modest garden.
Just out of the medals; my 4th place award goes to Sloane Cottage.
In Bronze Medal place is the garden at The Posting House.
My Silver Medal Award goes to Bishops Rock.
Gold for 2016 is Sun House – Just Awesome.
It was a truly special day filled with beautiful plants and the friendliest people you could hope to meet on a Bank Holiday Monday in Suffolk …