Friday, 25 April 2014
A Rather Special Organic Garden
I had a day out yesterday with a friend. It was a beautiful day - warm and sunny and we decided to revisit Ryton Organic Gardens as it had been quite a few years since our first visit.
Ryton Gardens which cover 10 acres are home to the UK's leading organic growing charity - Garden Organic (once called the Henry Doubleday Research Association). In 1985 the site was a bare paddock containing a riding school, barn and farmhouse. It took a year for a team of gardeners to clear this area and make a garden to open to the public. A mile of rabbit proof fencing was erected around the perimeter, a wildlife pond installed plus an underground irrigation system and 5000 hedging and tree saplings were planted, gardens were set out and paths laid. The gardens finally opened in July 1986. Since then the shrubs and trees have matured, wildlife has moved in and the orchards are fruitful.
I particularly liked the way wildflowers are planted among the various cultivated species.
Here Red Campion
Euphorbia's were attracting bees
Ryton consists of many different gardens and areas each with a different theme.
The Cook's Organic Garden contains many unusual vegetables, fruits and herbs. Each plant has a part or parts that is/are edible.
My friend rescued this female Orange Tip from a summerhouse as it was fruitlessly fluttering against the glass.
It didn't seem to want to leave her hand but eventually flew off to a nearby flower. The wingtips of the females are black rather than the orange tips shown by males.
The Growth Therapy Garden promotes gardening for people with disabilities or those recovering from illnesses. The beds are all raised.
The Memorial Garden has been designed as a sensory garden for the blind and partially sighted. It is also a memorial to the founder of Garden Organics Lawrence D Hill and his wife Cherry who both suffered failing eyesight in their later years. The plants here are chosen for their attraction to wildlife, bright colours, interesting textures, scent and sound/movement.
The Apple Orchard
This sculpture was wonderful and features a seat at the rear!
The World's Largest Flowerpot
The Herb Garden contains over 200 plants with a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. It is at its best later in the year when its just full of colour.
My favourite garden was the Bee Garden - I just wish I could have picked it up and transported it back home with me. It was such a delight with a mixture of plants mainly in blue (forget-me-nots, borage, bluebells, grape hyacinth) and yellow (cowslips, "marmalade" and yellow "allysum") with a few purple (honesty) and white (dead nettle) plants interspersed. The garden is six-sided to reflect the hexagonal shaped cells of a honey comb.
The Kitchen/Allotment Garden
The All Weather Garden which demonstrates how you can grow a selection of vegetables all round - this area was undergoing redevelopment.
Everywhere you looked there were trees full of blossom.
The Small Organic Garden was originally made for Channel 4's "All Muck and Magic" series and shows how even a very small garden can be productive and attractive and wildlife friendly - this seemed to be another garden that was being redeveloped/restored.
The Paradise Garden which is a tribute to Geoff Hamilton (who inspired millions with his tv programmes and books) is split into 2 parts - a town and country garden.
Great Bee Houses and Insect Hotels
Finally!!! - sorry I know there are far too many photos!
The Exotic Garden which demonstrates food crops from around the world that can be grown in the UK - interspersed with some beautiful cottage garden type flowers
There were several other areas that we didn't have time to visit and several gardens that are closed as they are in the process of being redeveloped but it was lovely day out. Thanks for your company J - I hope you enjoyed the visit as much as I did.