"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Trip to Herefordshire - Part 2: Hergest Croft Gardens, Kington.

 Thursday was dry and, although not as sunny as forecast,  we decided to visit Hergest Croft garden in Kington which is about 40 minutes away.

The gardens, parkland and wood cover about 70 acres and contain more than 5000 rare trees and shrubs. They hold the UK National Collection of Maples, Birches and Zelkovas.  There is a lot to see and do there with so many different areas to explore. We didn't manage to see everywhere which gives me a good excuse to go back!

Be warned there are a lot of photos!

Sculpture entitled the Ledbury Yew by Rolfe Hook.

Hergest Croft House was built in 1885 - you can't go inside.

View from the Upper Terrace

Path to the Old Rockery Garden

Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons were at their best.

The Azalea Garden

We had a look at the garden map and decided to explore Park Wood but before doing that we returned to the car for lunch and a flask of tea.

Gate to the parkland which you walk through to reach the wood.

Park Wood

We followed the path through Rhododendron Valley full of exotic trees and, of course, Rhododendrons! As the garden website says it is reminscent of  a Himalayan scene.

Back through the parkland to the main gardens.

The Kitchen Garden

Timothy in the orchard.

Before we left I had a look round the shop and bought a jar of Herefordshire Strawberry jam and a Logaston Press book I have wanted to buy for ages - "Scratch and Hop" which is about hop picking over the years in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Before we left Kington we continued up the lane as B, who is a big fan of Mike Oldfield and his music, wanted to see Hergest Ridge.  Mike Oldfield wrote an album while living in the area.  The lane didn't go all the way to the top I don't think but you can park in a layby and continued walking onto the ridge itself.

We didn't walk far this time as by now it was 5.00 pm but it is another place to return to to walk further.

A few of D's photos - first of the gardens and then views from Hergest Ridge.
















I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera and photos marked *D taken by D with the Canon SX50 HS bridge camera.


Bovey Belle said...

Gosh, absolutely the right time of year to visit. Sublime. I bet the scent of the Azaleas was wonderful. I have a yellow one here in the garden, and it has a wonderful perfume.

Lovely walks, both woodland an garden. I don't blame youfor wanting to go back. I must make the effort to visit myself now.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle Thanks so much. Yes the gardens there are superb and I would imagine something to see whenever you go. £7 entry free a bargain I think as you could spend all day there.
I do hope you can visit - not sure exactly where you live but I would imagine not too far - took us 40/45 minutes from Hatfield.
We have a few azaleas in the garden at home too - pink and also a yellow one. An orange one we lost.

Billy Blue Eyes said...

First think I thought of was Mike Oldfield and Hergest ridge which I did not like as much as Tubular Bells. I always wondered if there was such a place till I drove past on my way to Fforest Fields. Did you visit the church in the nearby town?

Ragged Robin said...

Billy Blue Eyes - Thanks so much. OH very keen to go there as he likes both albums (not my cup of tea at all! though). I think we shall return and walk up on the ridge. No sadly no time to visit Kington church plus my son and husband with me and they really don't like church crawling at all although my son is more accommodating! I did briefly go in the church at Wigmore - a 10 minute whizz round - post to come in a few days or a week or so! I also really regret not going in St Edburga's at Leigh as we visited a tithe barn there on the way home but again with family.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Yep, my first thought was of Mike Oldfield as well! What a lovely place!

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Dougls Thompson - Thanks so much Simon.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

what a super place! Connected with the White and Red Books of Hergest, so important to early Welsh literature. I wonder if the boar is linked in any way? Timothy climbing trees, hmmmm, not setting a good example to Treasure!

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

WOW! What a wonderful place to visit and explore. It is so well kept. I would really love to visit this garden. Sorry I have not been commenting much recently. It is because my daughter had a bad car accident and I was asked to come over to the Isle of Wight to help her and the family so it is keeping me quite busy and will be here for a while still.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much and so interesting to hear of the connection with the White and Red Books of Hergest. Not sure about the boar - I know they occur but I thought further south in the Forest of Dean. lol! re: Timothy. He couldn't resist those apple trees!

Margaret Birding for Pleasure - Thanks Margaret and lovely to hear from you. I am so very sorry to hear about your daughter and I hope she makes a full recovery soon. Such a horrid thing to happen.

Caroline Gill said...

Well, RR, this brought back very fuzzy memories of a day in these lovely gardens. Thank you. I hope Timothy was allowed a little strawberry jam!

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much. So pleased the post brought back some memories. The jam isn't opened yet but he will be when it is :)

Millymollymandy said...

Lovely post Caroline! Perfect timing with all the rhodos flowering - what a sight! What is the plant under Timothy in the Rhodo/Azalea section? I also love that pic of him up the apple tree!

I can well imagine that there's lots more to see, not to mention how it will look through the seasons. I don't know how far this is from the caravan but it certainly merits spring, summer and autumn visits!

The Quacks of Life said...

wow I haven't been to Hergest in YEARS ... apparently 15 years

everyone waves at Timothy

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much. Yes our timing was good :) Not sure about plant did you mean that photo or the one in the Old Rockery Garden?

Its about 45 minutes away so not too far.

The Quacks of Life- Thanks Pete. I guessed you'd been there :) Well worth another visit if you go back to that area :) Timothy waves back :)

Millymollymandy said...

Sorry, I mean the plant in the photo under the Timothy photo in the azalea garden. It’s something I don’t recognise.

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - sorry I am being so dense I thought you meant under Timothy in the photo with him in it. lol! Got the photo now. So sorry I have no idea it is lovely - I have seen it before in other gardens I think. If I find out will let you know!!!

CherryPie said...

The gardens look lovely, Timothy seems to be enjoying himself :-)

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you - we shall certainly return to the gardens there.