Unlike a witches’ coven, when we three sisters meet it tends to be somewhere rather more interesting than round a cauldron, and yesterday we met up at Barnsdale Gardens near Rutland Water. This is the third time I have been to Barnsdale but I was looking forward to the repeat visit as there is always such a lot to admire including, at this time of year dozens of different aquilegias in various forms, resulting in many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ from me, and a determination to investigate and grow more of them.
The gardens were created by the late Geoff Hamilton whilst he was presenter of the Gardeners’ World programme, and consist of 39 individual gardens and features, ranging from the Modern Estate and Courtyard Gardens to the Country Paradise and Artisan Cottage Gardens with numerous other gardens and features inbetween. This produces a scale of garden that feels familiar, comfortable and easily transferrable to our own gardens. I realise, in retrospect, that most of my photos were of individual plants or flowers (not all aquilegia!), but I shall post the few general pictures, some of the features and a small selection of the blooms (not all aquilegias….) The Actinidia kolomikta pictured yesterday was from Barnsdale, of course.
OK, so another aquilegia crept in with the almost embarrassingly huge tree peony, the cirsium and Erysimum ‘Constant Cheer’ (Younger Sister thought the latter might be a little tiring) but who cares?! It was a lovely day out, with sisters, a garden, a nice lunch and a surprise visit from Niece and Great Nephew – I feel quite spoilt, with this and my garden visit last week too.