Today, Mill Dene near Moreton-in-Marsh is opening its garden gate for the NGS. Essentially a private garden it opens to the public for part of the week, with teas and coffees provided as long as you make them yourself.
Sadly none of the characters listed in the notice below were in evidence on the day we visited.
Pianos were once made here but it is now the sound of rushing water that can be heard as you pay the entrance fee into an honesty box provided.
On entering the garden in front of the mill, there is an atmosphere of calm,
or is there – with sticks of dynamite attached to the sluice?
In the still water it is not fish we see but a deadly weapon.
As neither explode we are able to walk on through the ivy-clad arches
and along to the seat at the end of the path. A graceful willow weeps into the water while the heron looks on.
The interesting topiary adds to the enjoyment for the seated visitors.
The garden is on several levels and to the side of the mill we ascend to an area which is extended by the mirror positioned behind the seat.
The border bends round, backed by a wall it is the orange of Euphorbia graffithii which is providing colour now that the spring bulbs are over.
A lovely display from the Clematis montana as it scrambles high up into the conifer.
The laburnum tunnel brings us up to the next level.
We take the steps up to the highest point of the garden.
Apples are trained along the narrow paths of the fruit garden. Currants are safely growing in the fruit cage and a gooseberry has been planted to commemorate the birth of each grand child.
Aquilegia of all colours seem to pop up everywhere.
A wall divides the potager from the fruit garden. A rich variety of herbs are grown and a water rill runs either side of the dividing path.
It must have been a quite a challenge to create this garden on such a steep slope. A loggia looks out upon the herbal display.
A mirror attached to the fence provides a cunning distraction from the busy working area behind,
and further along honeysuckle climbs through rusty hoops.
Clipped box squares fill the space below the potager and roses are starting to bloom against the majestic posts.
We descend the steps and walk through the ‘Howzat’ arch onto the cricket lawn,
where we find the pavilion closed until play resumes when
the church tower will oversee fair play .
We descend to the next space, more confined, the mood changes. Topiary ‘brioches’ guide you along the path,
and plants spill out of the dry stone walls.
There is a path that runs along the boundary from top to bottom, from which
you can peer through to the neighbour’s colourful trees.
Down at the stream we step over the gently flowing water to explore the other side of the garden.
And find ourselves by the family swimming pool where the all important conveniences are provided in the hut.
Even the roof does not escape a planting.
We find ourselves ascending once again, the paths prettily arranged with roses and camassias.
And finally, the kitchen garden where the metallic scarecrow guards the vegetables.
Whilst his garden might be open to the public, it certainly has the feel of a family garden packed with plants and pleasure. We have woven our way through fun tunnels, along paths across the width, up and down, so that the two and half acres seem almost to have doubled in size.
Having previously had little horticultural knowledge, the owners began to garden seriously in 1992. They have overcome difficult slopes, built walls and cultivated a haven of diversity resulting in becoming an RHS partner garden.
Now is a busy time in the garden but I hope people will abandon weeding their own today and step out and find a little inspiration in an NGS garden and perhaps they might find themselves near to this lovely Gloucestershire garden https: //www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/11364/.