Normally I make my rides circular, so I don't see the same scene twice, but sometimes it's good to break a habit and today was one of those days. Private gardens are opened for charity under the National Garden Scheme and this weekend Lowder Mill opened it's garden gate. What a delight awaited those who walked through.
Baskets, urns and tubs were brimming with blooms in the peak of perfection. See the basket of violas on the wall?
here's a closer look. Isn't it beautiful? Pansies and violas are such cheerful flowers, I can't help but smile when I see them.
Gardeners always like the opportunity to acquire new specimens and there was ample opportunity today. As you can see not everyone came by bike, so they can be sure of getting their plants safely home!
The garden was looking a picture, so I parked my bike ( I did ask first, and as you can see I did remove my shoes too!) and set off to explore.
It wasn't just succulents in wheelbarrows but more violas too.
But still my head was turned by these magnificent bronze succulents and
and this clematis is a definite winner too.
Walking round a corner and into a cool haven of ferns and
Soloman's seal, and some delicate white flowers. Pity I don't know it's name!
Don't throw out that old bird cage!
More lovely succulents, pity I missed photographing the hanging basket overflowing but it's something I might have a go at doing too.
I wonder if there any bronzed varieties on the sales table?
But I must leave it behind and walk around the mill pond set with the blue iris and
...cakes! What a magnificent spread and having cycled all that way I think I can have a piece too!
Homemade cakes and pretty china - yum, yum, yum!
I had a huge slice of Hummingbird cake and a cup of Earl Gray, outside beside the lake,
with a posy of homegrown blooms to grace the table.
The view across the pond was a delight,
but the locals were becoming a bit insistent.
They came mob handed, looking for any crumbs that might have fallen....not a chance from my plate, it was too yummy a cake!
Cake eaten, tea drunk, time to wander and see the gardens. So many things to delight,
who knew a mossy, old table and rusty urn could become so atmospheric, especially with the woodland chandelier hanging above.
Over a bridge,
turn to look at the pool house, there's still plenty wanting tea and cake.
Don't they realise the delights that await? Like this delicate primula
and if we step over the stream and look right
the view is calming and serene.
Dotted around are many lanterns. It must be magical to wander through the garden when they are all light.
I could wander for longer,
and marvel at the colours. It must take so much work to make a garden this beautiful,
I doubt there is much time to sit in this shadey spot ( just look at all those terracotta plant pots...)
but look, look at all these succulents. Oh my, what an amazing display. I want them all!
I love the different ways they have been planted up
and the colours, Just look at the colours combinations...such perfection.
Terracota pots, old sweetie tins, metal jelly moulds, rusty biscuit tins, even an old enamel colander,
....and a wire chicken all planted with succulents. I think I will have fun trying out some of these ideas at home.
I do have watering can envy - that's not something most people will admit to!
I was also particularly taken with this tiered stand,
in fact I love all this area
and enjoyed this small still-life too.
No opportunity for display had been overlooked
although you wouldn't be able to sit and enjoy the view of the house from here.
I didn't want to miss out the vegetable garden, with its neat raised beds of orderly vegetables,
Such magnificent rhubarb forcing pots, *sigh*
Even the chickens live in style.
Chives are flowering,
scented stocks too.
One last planter to admire and then it was time for the gardens to close and for me to be in my way.