A lovely day at Stockton Bury Gardens

The invitation read: Dear Alison, would you like to come and spend a lovely day with lovely people learning about lovely foraging in a lovely garden.  Well, maybe not in those exact words, but that is what I understood from it.  Did I say yes?  You betcha!

I have visited Stockton Bury a couple of times previously so I really needed little encouragement to accept the invitation.  Whilst this was a 'press day', I am not under any obligation to write about the visit, but I am not going to keep a garden like this to myself.
One of the reasons for the invite was for us to meet Liz Knight the author of 'Buds and Blossoms', a book about cooking with edible garden plants - ones you might not usually put into the 'ooh I must eat that' category.  I will review the book separately in a future post.  For now I want to talk about the garden.
Tamsin Westhorpe was our host for the day is, I think it reasonable to say, the public face of the garden but it is owned by her uncle Raymond.  Tamsin, Raymond and other family members are the main, small,  gardening team, it is very much a family garden sited on a working farm.
There are so many fantastic features like this beautifully pruned fig.  It is woven to perfection.
It was a rare sunny day when I visited, and we were all grateful for the respite from the rain.  Like many outdoor places the gardens have had to delay opening by a couple of weeks because it was so squelchy underfoot.  It is now thankfully able to open.
The tulips under the apple trees were going over a little, but how wonderful they look nonetheless.  The green fluffy foliage that is growing around them is Nigella and I can just imagine how stunning that will look in a few weeks time.
I stood in front of the humungous Monkey Puzzle Tree, it has to be the largest I have ever seen and it is very old.  Allegedly it might be one of the first grown in this country.
I am sure I found some views I had not noticed previously.  I love this rill in the plant sales area.
I nodded hello to the skeps,
and enjoyed the display in the plant theatre.
and as ever I loved the simplicity of this watering can display.  This is so easy to do, it does not take up a lot of space, it just needs a few nice old watering cans and some sort of plinth.  What I enjoy most about visiting gardens no matter how much bigger they might be than my own, there is always that moment of inspiration where I think 'oh that I could do'.
and I don't think I had spotted these two statues high on one of the walls.  I do love a statue/feature and a nicely placed, you've got to be concentrating to find one is always extra special.
I am also found of these ducks (geese?).
This might be the plant of the visit, it shone and shone where-ever it popped up.  What a glorious acid yellowy-green it is.  It's a smyrnium of some sort.  I loved it.
All of the garden is good, all of the garden is wonderful, but there is a peace and calm of the Dingle that is extra special.
You can immerse yourself in the birdsong that surrounds you.
and the sounds of the water that runs through this area.
I became transfixed watching bees skipping and sipping across this shallow bowl of water.
and there was some tadpole envy as well as I seem to have very few this year.
I had the most wonderful day and vowed, as ever, to return again soon.  Whilst it is a bit of a schlep from my neck of the woods, it is not difficult to find and really quite a pleasant drive.  I need to visit more often.

More about the book/foraging/superb lunch soon.....

My previous visits to the garden can be found here: 


  1. Of course you would say "yes," and what an amazing garden! That pruned Fig is incredible, and the displays with the tea kettles are so special. I'm going to click through again. What a lovely story and lovely photos!


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