A weekend of sheer indulgence


This weekend I completely indulged in my passion for plants, to the extent that by 4pm on Sunday I couldn’t look at another border or take another photo.  This weekend was the AGM weekend for the Cottage Garden Society.  It was held at Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland, thanks to our President, Nick Hamilton.

I haven’t been to one of the AGM’s before but as I am our local club Secretary I thought I should give it a go and the prospect of visiting Barnsdale and two other gardens during the weekend was sufficient incentive.  Needless to say I have taken loads of photos, bought a few plants, met lots of nice gardeners and absorbed lots of ideas and I will be sharing some of these with you over the next couple of posts.

The weekend started on Saturday with the option to visit 3 gardens in Nottinghamshire.  Our small group decided that two gardens would be more than enough in one weekend as we had quite a long journey before.  The first garden was stunning, that is the only word for it.  It is called Dumbleside and opens for the NGS so if you are over Nottinghamshire way make an appointment to visit.  The owners are very welcoming, offering to dig up any plants we wanted which we thought was a joke but it turned out to be otherwise.

The photo are the top shows the view as you come up the garden from the stream.  There is a steep slope to the garden and it has been carefully terraced with narrow walks along a stream. 


The planting is made up of ferns, trilliums, hostas, hardy orchids and then as you come up you are confronted with a sea of candelabra primulas.  The path meanders through these and you come across irises in abundance and more primulas.  To be honest there is such a wealth of plants that you would need all day to take everything in but we were short of time. 



Back up  the top of the garden and there is a well maintained lawn with herbaceous borders. The large tree at the back of the photo is actually covered in one rose and the scent was quite intoxicating.


At the end we found the plant sales area and I asked the owner about a plant I hadn’t recognised (below).  It turned out to be a Phytolacca.  Do you want one he says and proceeded to dig me up two seedlings which he potted up and presented to me telling me I would regret it in a couple of years as it really self-seeded!!


They were so welcoming it made a lovely start to the weekend and set us up for the next garden which was completely different but more of that another day


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    Sounds a most perfect weekend Helen 🙂 That part of the world is so near to my parents – but bad timing as usual as himself was working this weekend ! Aren’t gardeners such generous folk ! Look forward to hearing your impressions of Barnsdale.

  2. mothernaturesgarden says:

    Heaven! Thanks for sharing your experience. It is wonderful to immerse oneself every now and then.

  3. tina says:

    Sounds like a perfect weekend! Lovely garden too.

  4. What a wonderful way to spend the weekend. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

  5. Martyn Cox says:

    You were in spitting (not that you’d spit of course. It’s a filthy habit) of Southwell, the town where I grew up. Actually my folk still live there, so I feel an appointment to visit Dumbleside will have to be arranged. It looks and sounds great.

  6. patientgardener says:

    Martyn – I would really recommend Dumbleside. The owners are lovely and very generous. Its abit difficult to find, you have to go up a narrow unmade road which slopes (all good fun). I’m sure with plenty of time you will discover far more than I did in our visit.

  7. Gail says:

    The title says it all…what a great way to spend time! Your garden shots are great…I can’t believe the fantastic textural/color/combinations in the first photo…sigh…gail

  8. teza says:

    What a wonderful journey, thanks for letting us tag along. Do you know the species of the Phytolacca? They are known to grow to 7′ tall and its the fall display of the oh so tropical red berries that will leave you speechless. Granted, it does seed, but the seedlings are easily identified and would create a stir at the next plant society sale. I know you will be impressed with it!

  9. patientgardener says:

    teza – I dont know the species, we had to root around in the undergrowth to find the name and it only said Phytolacca. The bush was about 4 ft tall and the flower spikes 4-5 inches. I did see another Phytolacca the next day which was had larger flower spikes which were pink. I am looking forward to my seedlings growing into something wonderful

  10. catmint says:

    that garden visit was so well described and photographed, I feel I have joined you vicariously. Superb garden.

  11. ronniejt28 says:

    What a lovely weekend – thank you for sharing it. Also, I suspect, a much needed break for you. R

  12. ronniejt28 says:

    Whoops, just noticed the date (and year) – Silly me!!!

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