Stockton Bury Gardens – August


Some may recall that earlier this year I set out to visit Stockton Bury Gardens, a garden local to me, on a regular basis.  I have to admit I failed to make a monthly visit for far too many reasons to bore you with and so I missed the high summer months.  However, today in need of an escape and some horticultural therapy I dug out my season ticket and returned.


As I think I said last week I really struggle with getting the garden to look good at this time of year as my preference is for spring and early summer plants so I am trying to visit a couple of gardens over the next couple of weeks which are open almost all year to see how they address this.


Interestingly at Stockton Bury the approach seems to be mixed herbaceous borders with some early summer plants and some later flowering plants.  Unlike me the dead flower stems are generally left in place presumably for a big tidy up later in the year or next spring.  I struggle with this approach as my obsessively tidy mind can’t cope with the idea

2014_08240043but I quite liked it at Stockton Bury especially the seed heads of Echinops and Eryngiums.  I have grown Eryngiums in the past but struggled with them falling over in the garden but having seen how wonderful the seed heads are I think I might try again especially as the bright blues will work well with the other colours in the borders.


I have also decided that I need some pink Japanese Anemones.  I have some of the white ones which seem to move around the garden depending on my mood but the pinks will be wonderful especially against the mauve asters which I already have.


Lots of crocosmias were in evidence and I have noticed that I seem to be bringing quite a few home.  Today Emily McKenzie slipped into my shopping bag along with a rogue Babylon that had slipped into the pot.  I love the vibrancy of the colours and will be following recent advice I received and plant them in moister locations than I have in the past.


If you look back at my previous posts you will see how the pillar border has transformed.  I’m quite taken with the Solidago but I think my garden isn’t big enough to accommodate yet another imposing plant.


Though the shorter varieties in this photo are quite appealing!

Stockton Bury Gardens might not be cutting edge in its design and some may not like the planting but the reason I love it is because it is a personal garden and loved and cared for by skilled plantsmen with a pedigree of plantsmanship.  I can relate to this garden as it is like my garden but on a huge scale.  Every time I visit I learn something, I see a combination I like, a new plant, or a plant used in a way I hadn’t thought of.  Every time I visit I chat to the owners and learn something from them.  They are generous with their time and knowledge and yes every time I visit I come home with plants.  Today I also came home with some seed pods which I had been given permission to pick.


I hope to squeeze in another visit before they close next month.

10 Comments on “Stockton Bury Gardens – August

  1. Their whole approach seems to be very relaxed and those mixed borders still look very attractive somehow, don’t they? I wonder what the advice was you were given about the crocosmia? Mine have been rubbish this year! Hope the visit served the purpose and gave you the escape you needed, Helen.

    • Hi Cathy
      Went to a talk by Rosy Hardy she said Crocosmia need feeding and moisture which is why they do well when we throw them on the compost heap!

    • Ahah – my crocosmia certainly haven’t had much in the way of either of those!!

  2. HOW ABUNDANT! You must be joking about crocosmia neeeding moisture! They are wees along creeks and road sides and in our dry sunny clay banks they thrive and am continually pulling them out. Another plant gone berserk here in NZ!

  3. Hi Helen,

    I really enjoy reading your garden blog, especially since your climate is probably much like ours in the Pacific North West. I love the tall frothy lime green plant in your first picture of Stockton Bury Gardens in today’s post. It almost looks like Solidago except for the colour. Can you by any chance tell me what it is ?

    Many thanks,

    Suzanne Johnston Victoria, British Columbia

  4. I too am always looking for things I can add to my garden to provide blooms and color in mid summer to early fall…I really appreciated the photos and got several good ideas for additions.

  5. This is interesting Helen as I try to mix early and late summer flowers too. I share your approach when it comes to chopping off dead flower heads, unless they are particularly worthy specimens or provide seed for birds. The day lilies wouldn’t fall into that category for me but eryngiums would. Deadheading aside this garden does seem to have pulled it off!

  6. I think late summer is a really difficult time for a garden to look “crisp”. with a lot of plants past their best. It’s too early to tidy up for Autumn but it can feel like you should be doing something. I like the photos from Stockton Bury Gardens as they show that you can keep some colour going at the end of Summer.

  7. With the heat here, I often leave stuff for a bit. That means the black-eyed Susans really get out of control spreading by runners and by seeds. Still, it’s a few weeks, and then I tidy like mad. Thanks for showing us about. ~~Dee

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