"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, 31 May 2023

Herefordshire 2023 (4) - Part 3: National Garden Scheme Open Gardens Lower House Farm


On Sunday 21st May I noticed a tweet from the National Garden Scheme about Open Gardens.  I've never tried visiting any of these before so I checked out some local Herefordshire ones. There were two that were very local and in the end we decided to go to Lower House Farm Garden just over the border in Worcestershire and not far from Kyre Park.

Its an Award Winning Country Garden surrounding a 16th Century farmhouse on a working farm.  The garden contains herbaceous borders, roses, box parterre, kitchen and cutting garden, an orchard and a wildlife pond.  There is also a haha with views across the countryside which we managed to miss!

The gardens were just charming - small but perfect and the wildlife pond was stunning.  

Box Parterre

The herbaceous borders were a delightful jumble of cultivated species and some wild flowers too.

May is "No Mow" month - set up by Plantlife the idea is to leave some or all of your lawn uncut and this garden had a patch.

A tiny pond had newts - if you click to enlarge the photo you may just spot it in the centre of the picture.

The kitchen or cutting garden had a huge patch of Poached Egg plants. We were so impressed with this lovely flower that we've bought a packet of seeds to grow our own! Bees were loving the flowers.

The Orchard

We then crossed a field to the Wildlife Pond area.

Finally, back to the main garden.

This is the same as the birdbath we bought for the caravan!

We really enjoyed the visit and I will certainly be checking out more NGS gardens to visit.

A word of warning its probably best not to book online at the last minute.  I booked at 11.00 am and we didn't get the confirmation email until 6.00 pm that night!!!!  We were only able to gain entry as luckily B has a phone app for the bank and was able to show the transaction had gone through. Another couple who showed up after us had the same problem although in their case they had thought to take a photo of the screen of the webpage confirming the booking. If I book online again I will remember to do the same!

We came home at lunchtime the following day. Hopefully we can return to Herefordshire soon.

Photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera. I don't particularly rate my photos but if anyone wishes to use one I would be grateful for an email first - thanks.


Rustic Pumpkin said...

What a lovely and diverse garden! I'm so pleased you got there and thank you for sharing so many beautiful pictures of the gardens and planting. A word to the wise. Poached Egg Plant spreads everywhere and can take over. You are warned! You could teach Timothy to weed? Waves at Timothy.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much Debbbie. I am so glad we went as it was such a lovely garden - (just the sort that I love) and the wildlife pond conservation area was stunning.
Thanks for the warning re Poached Egg plant spreading. Back in Herefordshire again and B has just sowed half a packet of seeds! Timothy does not look over keen on the mention of weeding - lol!!!! Timothy waves back at you and Treasure :)

The Wessex Reiver said...

Looks fabulous - though when you say small - it seems to cover a lot for just a small garden. I love NGS gardens, especially the ones where a few gardens get together - you can just feel the rivalry across the village in a Miss Marple, whodunnit way. Timothy should be a fabulous weeder, bears have long claws for digging :-)

Ragged Robin said...

The Wessex Reiver - Thanks Andrew. Yes sorry you are right it wasn't that small. I suppose I was comparing with some of the NT gardens. lol! re the Miss Marple rivalry - I will have to look out for a group of them open in a village!
lol too re: Timothy :)

Bovey Belle said...

What a lovely garden. I like natural looking plantings and that is super. So much there for wildlife as well as looking just plain beautiful.

The wildlife pond and orchard add lovely elements to the little tour.

I hope your Poached Egg plants behave themselves!

Rosie said...

This looks a wonderful garden to visit with lots of ideas you can adapt for your own garden, lots of lovely little features, it does look quite a large garden. We visited local NGS gardens for a few years, quite a while ago now and I've picked up a leaflet for our area for this year but hadn't realised that you have to book now, I can see that it makes sense after the last two or three years to moderate visitors to the sites. Timothy looks like a very happy bear to visit such a lovely garden:)

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much. It was indeed a lovely garden and very wildlife friendly. The pond was a superb addition. We have a border at the caravan under a hawthorn hedge where poached egg could be allowed to go rampant :)

Rosie - Thanks so much and you are so right so many features there you can add to your own garden. I am not sure if you have to book for them all - the ones I looked at in Herefordshire you could just go along on speck. Perhaps gardens vary or it is different in your county? I only booked as none of us carry much cash these days. Timothy enjoyed himself immensely!

Caroline Gill said...

What beautiful sunshine, RR! We had a little today, but have mainly been 'enjoying' cool grey days with a bitter north-easterly. Perhaps things will brighten up over here near the east coast now we are into June ... I'm so pleased you had such a happy garden visit in the end and that Timothy clearly much enjoyed his expedition. I clicked to enlarge the pond photo; it was great to see the prominent newt and, I think, some others in the background. Lots of Orange Tip and Brimstone on the wing near the River Lark today ... and plenty of blue damsels.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much Caroline. Most of the time it has been sunny in Herefordshire and at home but its still cool for the time of year and cold winds in Herefordshire. There again I don't like it too hot!!! Hope weather improves for you. There were quite a few newts in that tiny pond - just goes to show what even a small feature can attract. I've seen quite a few Orange Tips but not one Brimstone yet and earlier this week by the River Teme we saw Beautiful and Banded Demoiselles and had two mating pairs of Large Red on the patio at home :) Lovely time of year for wildlife :)