Sunday, 31 August 2014

Garden Hopping In The Rain


Garden visiting in the rain can be quite challenging as the art of keeping relatively dry is a prerogative let alone managing to take photos. The photos in this post were all taken from under the shelter of himself's enormous golf umbrella but still I ended up with only a few to choose from. We went garden visiting in the Lake District earlier this month when our camper van took us to the town of Grange-Over-Sands for a couple of days. This is a small Edwardian resort which is a pleasure to visit. The weather though was absolutely foul - extremely wet and windy and this was the weekend before the tail end of hurricane 'Bertha' hit the U.K. For some unexplained reason it seemed to arrive a week earlier in Cumbria. Still not to be defeated we set off on the Sunday to visit two gardens that were opening under the National Gardens Scheme

The first garden was opening for the very first time so the weather must have been must have been really disappointing for the owners, who had no doubt been preparing for this event for some considerable time. The Old Vicarage and Fell Cottage was most colourful even in the downpour that greeted us. Whenever I go garden visiting there's inevitably at least one feature and usually several plants that I would like to take home with me. My favourite part of this garden was the small vegetable area that was tucked in one corner of the garden. I could not believe the already red tomatoes, admired the hessian bag planted with potatoes and more than anything envied the dry stone wall. On leaving the garden we took shelter in the adjacent Parish Rooms where there was a bric a bric sale. This was on a much bigger scale than we anticipated and from which I emerged with what I think will be my bargain of the year. More of that in another post. 


From there we made our way to Cartmel of sticky toffee pudding fame where we eat our sandwiches and fruit lunch under cover, whilst watching a small group of intrepid people learning the skills of segway riding.

Back to Grange-Over-Sands in the afternoon to visit the much larger garden at Yewbarrow House, which has a stunning view overlooking Morecambe Bay. The garden here spreads over four and half acres and has been developed since 1999 by the current owners. It has featured in various gardening publications since then. Here are one or two of the features that I would have been happy to have popped into my wheelbarrow to bring home with me. I will have to leave it to your imagination for now but the other side of this infinity pool in the Japanese Garden has the bay as its backdrop. 


Some sturdy frames protecting the strawberry plants ~ 


Already glimpsed in my latest Wordless Wednesday post this is another photo of what I thought was a beautiful statue. It is one of two bronzes of the owner's daughters ~


Dahlias still singing in the rain ~


Finally this fine fellow was gazing out from one of the many attractive walls ~


As the afternoon progressed we were getting damper and damper. There were still areas of the garden to see but we reluctantly decided to call it a day. Stopping off though before we left to browse at the plant sale area from which an aeonium aboreum 'Schwarzkop' was selected. Hopefully a return visit to Yewbarrow on a dry day will be on the cards before too long. 

35 comments:

  1. Fabulous photos Anna - I wouldn't have known they were taken under such trying circumstances if you hadn't told us :-) Both look great gardens to visit - we nearly rented a cottage in this area earlier in the year, so I'll keep both of these places in mind should we finally venture up there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A most tranquil part of the world VP. I'm sure that you would enjoy staying in that particular area. It doesn't always rain.

      Delete
  2. It looks like you hit lucky with the gardens you chose to visit, though it must be so disappointing when the weather doesn't cooperate when you've planned something like this. Looking forward to hearing about your bargain, I do love a good rummage in a bric a brac sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the weather put a bit of a dampener on the day Jo. Please forgive the pun but I couldn't resist :) I think that himself enjoyed the bric a brac more than me in that he made more purchases. Will reveal the bargain soon.

      Delete
  3. I want an infinity pool like that and I want it now! (she says stamping her feet!) ;) Isn't it gorgeous.
    Two totally different gardens to visit and each look lovely.
    I can imagine just how apprehensive the owners of the first garden were - not the best weather for their first open day. I hope it was popular with visitors.
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Angie. I would like the infinity pool plus view too :) The first garden had only recorded 20 visitors when we arrived, but hopefully many more had passed through by the end of the day. Such a shame when so much hard work must have gone into all the preparations.

      Delete
  4. Two gardens to think about visiting when in the area, thanks for highlighting them Anna! Hopefully next time you guys are there the weather will be more favourable for taking pics :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been up to the Lakes again since guys and managed to fit in the garden visit before the rain came down!

      Delete
  5. a small Edwardian resort, that sounds so enticing, going to have a look ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Diana. It really is a charming spot. I remember one of my former younger colleagues disparagingly referring to Grange as 'God's waiting room'. I think I must have reached a certain age :)

      Delete
  6. Fabulous pictures - love those strawberry cloches - I want them! And how did they manage to get such beautiful dahlias! Well done for getting such good photos on such a dreary day - I can see why you enjoyed visiting these lovely gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cloches were so attractive Elaine - sturdy, a pleasing shape and I loved the colour too. I was suffering from a touch of I wantitis too. The dahlias lit up that part of the garden on a really dreary day.

      Delete
  7. I've also visited Open Gardens in the rain and had the same thought as you... how disappointing given all the work that must have gone into getting them perfect for the day. Both look really lovely gardens though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If anything the rain made us more determined to visit the gardens Jessica but especially the garden that was opening for the very first time. I just hope they are not put off by the experience and do it again next year.

      Delete
  8. It sounds as if you had a lovely time visiting great gardens despite the rain. I love the statue of the little girl.
    Next year I am definitely going to grow more dahlias, how cheery they are when everything else is starting to look tired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The statue was beautiful Chloris. We were upset that managed to miss the statue of the owner's other daughter :( The dahlias were certainly strutting their stuff in most murky conditions. I say the same about dahlias every year but just wish that they had more pleasing foliage.

      Delete
  9. I think your photos are extremely good for a pouring wet day - those dahlias are stunning! Some flowers seem to look even better in rain (well, at least just as good as in sun) and I think they are definitely one of them. And I love that last picture! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, thanks for your kind words - at least the pouring rain gave way to incessant drizzle by mid afternoon. Isn't he wonderful?

      Delete
  10. As others have said, you can't really tell from the pictures that it was raining but we really appreciate the lengths you and himself went to in taking them! The first garden looked like one we would feel at home in but I suspect the 'accessories' in the second are beyond the humble means of most of us.... It's good to compare and contrast and pick up ideas that can be used or modified for our own gardens though. The segway didn't appeal to you, Anna - whyever not?! The Golfer and I are thinking of a couple of days in our van shortly, not sure where yet...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really were contrasting gardens Cathy but as you say you can always pick up ideas. Now did I actually say that segway did not appeal to me ? :) Hope that you enjoy the next van trip whichever direction you head in.

      Delete
  11. I agree the statue is absolutely beautiful, Anna. So are the gardens, especially the dahlia display and I'm so impressed by these fruit cages - they're a proper feature and I wouldn't refuse them. Might get Monsieur to do something like that ;) Have a lovely week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monsieur and himself will have to compare notes Annette :)

      Delete
  12. it all looks so lush!

    i don't mind gardening in light rain but i think visiting and photographing would be quite a different story. you captured it all so well - impressive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It must be all the rain that they get in that part of the country that makes it so lush and green Kif :) I quite enjoy gardening in light rain too as long as it's warm.

      Delete
  13. Your photos are super in spite of the rain.
    I've seen the infinity pool in magazines and it certainly is amazing. All the gardens are wonderful, it is a shame when so much work has been done preparing a garden for opening, then the rain keeps people away. One year we had 9 people in the rain, thank goodness we opened for a weekend and the next day certainly made up for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The infinity pool looked good even in the murk Pauline but we both thought that it would look stunning on a clear day with Morecambe Bay as it's backdrop. We will have to return on such a day. The rain is the one factor that all these generous people who open their gardens have no control over and it is indeed a shame when it deters visitors. Those intrepid 9 visitors must have been real hardy perennials.

      Delete
  14. Rotten luck with the weather, but the gardens both look inspiring despite the wet. That sculpture is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a shame about the weather Janet but it was not enough to put us off. The sculpture was rather special.

      Delete
  15. I love garden visiting but don't get to do it much anymore. I feel sorry for the owners who have worked so hard to get everything ready and then the weather is miserable, but it seems like you managed to have a good time in spite of it. I would definitely pop that statue into my basket, oh, and the strawberry cloches too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've not done much garden visiting this year Paula but I'm hoping that we will slip more in once himself retires :)

      Delete
  16. What lovely images Anna - some really nice things going on in the two gardens that you visited. It is so lovely for the owners when visitors still come to visit, despite the rain!
    K
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment Karen. Fingers crossed that the rain is holds off for you tomorrow and that you have many visitors to enjoy your garden and the cakes :)

      Delete
  17. What beautiful gardens! I love the bronze statue, too, and the dahlias are so colorful. I've been on several garden tours in the rain, and I do feel badly for the gardeners and the organizers. I particularly remember a local garden tour two years ago when we suddenly had a downpour. This time, all the visitors and gardeners were laughing and allowing themselves to be drenched--it was the first rainfall we'd had in two months, so we were thrilled!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Always good to hear from you Rose. I can imagine how happy that drenching must have made all of you :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm sorry that I've had to close comments on this post so relatively soon after publishing it but it seems to have attracted some unwelcome visitors :(

    ReplyDelete