A morning at Stockton Bury Gardens

I was very proud to have been accepted as a member of the Garden Media Guild, which is an organisation that aims to raise the quality of garden writing, photography and broadcasting.  One of the benefits of being a member is that they organise events at really interesting gardens.  When I saw they had a day planned that started at Stockton Bury Gardens and then moved on to the Laskett, I thought this was an opportunity not to be missed.  Whilst I have visited The Laskett previously (more of that in another post) I had not been to Stockton Bury and it was on my list of 'must get to see' gardens.
Our guide for the day was Tamsin Westhorpe who is the niece of the creators of the garden, Raymond Treasure and Gordon Fenn.  The Treasure family have farmed this land for three generations.  You can see in this picture the froth of smyrnium that is a wonderfully lime froth of a plant.  As ever I am not going to show you all of the garden, there is much to discover and enjoy.
 These bells ring on the hour throughout the day.  Remember this is also a working farm so this marking of time is useful and it is also a really nice touch.
There are fascinating pieces of stonework in the garden.
interesting doorways,
tempting openings
and some rather fine dragons
and some casual gentlemen who look after....
....... the Pillar Garden which is a good formal yet informally planted space.
The kitchen garden is immaculate.  Rarely have I seen a space so well organised and beautifully maintained.
This post with crown finial was one of my favourite things in the garden.  The colour of the emerging foliage matches the colour of the crown, it is one of those tiny details that makes great impact.
This row of dwarf apple trees was also a joy.  Beautifully pruned, they look beautiful and all fruit was will be in reach.
Going on down into the Dingle, which is a calm space....
..with running streams and the most wonderful pond you could ever hope to see.  You follow the path down and
reach the folly.  If you go through here to the back....
you find these intriguing steps.  I wondered if water was meant to run through these rills?  Maybe it is for drainage, but the stonework is beautifully done.
The garden homes some very beautiful trees, many of them are rather special, I had to look up what several of them were as I could not recognise them.
In the gardens there were many tree peonies in flower.  I came away thinking I needed more.  I have a few (but then again, too few to mention), but I have never seen them so well planted into a garden.  This pink one was backgrounded by a lilac, the colours should jar but they worked really well together.
For much of the morning the weather was very kind to us.  The clouds cotton-wooled themselves around the farm buildings.
The dovecote dates from Henry VIII
I always love how beautiful they are inside.
There is also this delightful housing for bee skeps
and this sheltered garden seat with botanical painting decoration by Tamsin's uncle.
There are some wonderful bits of planting around every wall.
and probably one of the most beautifully arranged tool sheds you will ever see.
and a gathering of watering cans.

We had a most enjoyable morning finished off with lunch in the cafe.  It was one of those mornings where the garden was great, the company was great, the weather started off great.....
but then started to hint of things to come.
I will definitely be returning to Stockton Bury.  It is around two hours from me so not too bad and there are several gardens around this area that are worth visiting.
So that was the morning, Sir Roy Strong joined us for lunch and to give us some introductory information on his garden, The Laskett, which  I will write about shortly.

The afternoon visit to The Laskett can be found here


  1. Alison, I always enjoy your posts but wish you would make the photos larger. They are worth seeing.

    1. Thanks Pat - kind of you to say and useful feedback x


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