I've wanted to visit Ryton Organic Gardens near Coventry for several years and when my friend suggested it as the destination for a day out yesterday I was really pleased.
The ten acre Gardens have been the home of the charity Garden Organic for over 25 years. Garden Organic was originally known as the Henry Doubleday Research Association and was first set up in 1954.
The Gardens include many small gardens all with various themes to demonstrate organic gardening such as a Herb Garden, Fruit Gardens, Bee Gardens, Allotments, Rose Garden etc., with areas also devoted to composting and pest and disease control. There are also woodland walks and conservation areas.
Here's some photos from a few of the areas we visited.
The Herb Garden which contains more than 200 plants
There is an area dedicated to low maintenance planting for large areas of ground
A view looking towards the World's biggest flower pot!
Cook's Garden - all the plants in this area have a part that is edible
Top Fruit Garden containing apple, pear, plum, quince, medlar and cherry trees
The Bee Garden full of plants which flower over a long time and are attractive to bees was one of my favourite areas
Biodynamic Garden - first opened in 2007. Biodynamic gardening is organic gardening with a holistic approach that encompasses spiritual and cosmic forces - a very interesting idea.
I really liked the Small Organic Garden which was originally created for the "All Muck and Magic" series on Channel 4 and shows brilliantly how even a tiny garden can be productive and pretty. The garden was overflowing with flowers, vegetables and there was even a tiny pond and blue tits were going in and out of a nestbox feeding young.
After visiting a few of the other gardens we had a rather nice lunch of homemade cream of vegetable soup in the Organic Restaurant.
It began to look more like rain after we had eaten but luckily we managed to visit a few more areas before the rain did arrive.
The Paradise Garden, comprising a Town and a Country Garden (in tribute to Geoff Hamilton, BBC presenter, gardener and author) and the Woodland Garden just beyond it was my favourite part of the Gardens.
And look some plants of ragged robin spotted by my friend - thanks Jackie!!
And to finish off some photos of flowers from various areas of the Garden
The arrival of rain meant that unfortunately we didn't get chance to visit some areas, such as the RSPB Garden and Craftsman's Trees but, having finally visited, I will certainly be returning. If you are in the area it is well worth a visit and a great advert for organic gardening with healthy plants and lots of wildlife, especially bees, everywhere.
A lovely day out in great company.
Catching up from the start of last week!
33 minutes ago