greentapestry : On Our Doorstep

Monday, 8 August 2011

On Our Doorstep

It's curious how we often overlook what's more or less on our doorstep and somehow caught up with the demand of everyday life we don't always get round to visiting local attractions. This is something that we have resolved to try to remedy. So as I already touched upon in my last post, we recently went garden visiting in Cheshire. Here some further impressions and information about our walk round Mount Pleasant Gardens near Kelsall in Cheshire. This is an RHS recommended garden curently opening on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays plus bank holiday Mondays from 12.00pm - 5.00pm. Opening is from the start of April to the end of September. The gardens have been developed since 1994 and shame to say this was our first visit.

There were several distinct areas to the 10 acres of gardens including a wildflower meadow, a tropical garden, a vegetable garden, a bog garden, water features as well as a recently created Japanese garden.

We were were slightly too late in the year to see some areas at the peak of their perfection. I imagine that the view down to the wildflower meadow would have been spectacular had we come just a few weeks before. The planting we saw was dominated by beautiful blue chicory but there was evidence of the tail end of poppies and various other wildflowers. We will have to return next summer.

Not surprisingly I enjoyed peeking at the vegetable garden. I particularly liked this planting of both red and white flowering runner beans ~

and positively drooled over these onions ~

Some of my perceptions of the garden were perhaps coloured by unfair comparisons - when it came to the Japanese garden I could not help but think of its near neighbour - the subtly and superbly planted Japanese garden at Tatton Park. The Japanese garden here seemed to be too fussy and as far as I was concerned did not evoke an air of tranquility but that could have just been my mood on the day - see my last post for a photo.

What made me pause though in this garden was not the planting for once but the carvings (both in wood and stone) that were dotted throughout the garden. Occasionally they were distracting but by and large they were sympathetic to their setting and enhanced the planting. Not only is there a resident artist but Mount Pleasant Gardens also holds an annual sculpture exhibition in September, which attracts artists from across the United Kingdom. The garden extends its opening hours during the exhibiton. The resident artist also holds sculpture workshops throughout the year. I know himself enjoys having a chisel in his paws - now  can I persuade him that he would like to attend such an event?

It was perhaps not the best day for garden visiting as the weather had become close and clammy. As the afternoon went on I became slightly grouchy which perhaps clouded my judgement as I wanted to speed up to get home to cool down. Hence I came away feeling that I would like to see the gardens again at other times of the year before coming to any firm conclusions. Having said that there was plenty to hold our interest and the visit was well worth the admission fee. Although we did not partake light refreshments are available. Some interesting pieces of art work were for sale and there is a small nursery sales area. I came away with a most striking blue salvia which sadly was unlabeled. Hopefully we might return next month when the sculpture exhibition is taking place.

This is the first in what I hope will be an occasional series of articles on what is on our doorstep. The next trip is already in the planning stage.


  1. For a mo thought this was a D post Anna. Blue Salvia? Just up my street ...though the gardens are miles away from here. Thank you for the tour despite the heat (rather changed now though)How about buying Himself a birthday gift of wood sculpture classes?

  2. I love those sculptures Anna, particularly the bearded tree stump. I agree with Laura, encouraging himself to develop his wood carving talents could only be good. Wonder if I could convince TNG to take it up...

    PS I am going to be really cheeky and plead with you to add a "subscribe by email" option to your blog... I find it by far the easiest way to stay up-to-date with my favourite bloggers, and you are one of those, creep creep ;-)

  3. Some great sculptures here Anna. I particularly like those books, but I'd happily have the green man in my garden too!

    I see what you mean about the fussy planting of the Japanese garden, although I love the big waterfall. I've got to replant one of the borders in my Japanese garden as that too has ended up too fussy...we learn by our mistakes! :)

  4. I liked the books too. Found the tree scupture a little freaky tho.

    Beans always look so decorative


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