Save the best until last – that is always a good idea and pretty much by accident I did. Now bearing in mind I had gone to Devon to visit one specific garden and everything else was just padding around it, only to find out that that specific garden had changed its opening patten and would not be opening the week that I visited, I think I did quite well to recover from this set back and find some great places to visit.
Up until this point I had enjoyed every garden I had been to. I could rank them in order but I am not going to, but lets just say that before I went to this last garden it was a close run thing between the gnomes ahttp://ozhene.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/gnomish.html and Cliffe.
Stone Lane Gardens is just down the road from Castle Drogo, they politely point their visitors at each other which I find a friendly and good practice. However I mistimed my visiting and ended up with a bit of spare time between leaving Castle Drogo and Stone Lane opening, so I went for a drive to find ice cream. This was a highly successful quest leading to a very nice ice cream and the purchase of a Wisteria ‘alba', as the only place I could find to buy ice cream from just happened to be a small nursery just off the main road, this was my one plant purchase on this trip.
So I was already in a happy mood before I got to Stone Lane. It has the delights of an honesty box (I have mentioned before I find them a heart-warming, civilised thing) and then you wander over the lane and through a gate into the gardens. Except by the ‘in’ gate were a couple of geese, looking quite goosey, so I went in the ‘out’ gate to walk around them at a safe distance (yes I am a coward).
What a great place! Very naturalistic and with sculpture placed throughout. Most of it was sculpture I really liked and it seemed to fit in the landscape. It did not feel false or out of place.
So here are my favourite bits.
Not much else I can say about this garden apart from go and visit it, it is tranquil, peaceful, beautiful and worth every minute you spend there. I left it feeling refreshed by nature.