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Friday, 8 May 2015

The day I went to Hedgehog Hall

It was a lovely sunny Bank Holiday Monday, with lots to do in my own garden thank you very much. Weeding, digging and the like. I went outside, and came back in very quickly. I was not going to spend a lovely afternoon, a Monday afternoon no less, when normally I would have been at work, slaving away .

I also knew there was an Open Garden  about twenty five minutes away in the car. An interesting garden opening its gates for charity as part of the National Gardens Scheme. A half acre garden at a house called Hedgehog Hall. How could I resist? 

I couldn't, so soon found myself in the village of Tilton on the Hill, a village I've driven through many times, but not off piste , down by the byways. Well, I did and what a surprise.

At the bottom of a hill lies  the house and garden , and it was a steep drive up into the neighbouring field before parking the car, with what seemed like hundreds of others. Good news for the NGS I thought, but I hoped it wouldn't be packed to bursting.

I made my way down the hill....

Although I was the 311th visitor (the house had opened on the previous cold and rainy day) there was a nice buzz about the place, and a well packed plant stall on the left in front of a wonderful series of three terraces and narrow paths built into a very sharp bank. 

And at the very top, a mini terrace to look over the adjoining field and sky.

When I say the terraces were heavily planted, my goodness, I lost count of the amount of beautiful hellebores of all hues - dusky pink, cream and white.

So much so that at a first glance, it's easy to miss some absolute gems..Talking to owner Janet Rowe later,  she asked " Have you seen my sweeties?"

And we walked over to the most delightful , prettiest little plant, an Anemonella Betty Blake. It is absolutely adorable, although I'm afraid my I phone can't quite catch the freshness of the exact shade of green flower.

And here's a little sweetie I loved pretty in pink, looking vetch like..was it called lathynus rosea? I'm not sure....

This series of terraces have lovingly been created from what a huge, deep slope framed by a large hedge. Although Janet has designed the planting , the hard landscaping and back breaking physical work have been done by her husband Andrew.

As she explained "I started thinking one terrace might be nice, then he added a second, and then I asked very nicely about a third. This year I suggested I would like a patio right at the top...and he's done it."

Good grief, this man is a saint.  It takes me all my powers of persuasion to get my husband to mow the lawn. I'd love to kidnap this man for a weekend and get him working in my garden. Obviously that isn't going to happen though, so let's get back to the plants shall we?

I love the leaf formations on this sanguisorba armena ...and it should be quite spectacular later in the year when its burgundy flowers are on show .

Although the majority of the garden is here at the front, there's an enticing archway

leading to a side garden with a rather healthy collection of hostas...

 And right at the back is a small courtyard which was  packed with tables and people having a cream tea and cake.

But it was time to go home, with a quick look back at the house and garden....

 and then a steep walk to the field where I left my car. A chance to inhale lungfuls of fresh air while I watched a red kite soar above for a few minutes.  Perfect.....

Hedgehog Hall is open again on Sunday 28 June from 11am - 5pm as part of the National Gardens Scheme and visitors are also welcome by arrangement May & June for groups of ten or more.

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