A Country Gardeners Day Out


Stockton Bury is one of my favourite local gardens so the idea of a visit which also combined a country gardeners market with a range of local nurseries was an opportunity impossible to resist.  Luckily for all concerned the heavy and relentless rain we had yesterday was not present and in the morning the sun shone adding to the jolliness of the event.


I realise now that I don’t have any photos of the actual market with nurseries.  I was so busy buying plants that I didn’t think to take photographs until I was walking around the garden.  The market was set up in the courtyard just beyond the main house above.  Although much smaller than some fairs I have been to the quality of the plants for sale was excellent and wide-ranging and there was a really friendly atmosphere.  It was really nice to bump into lots of people I know whether they were nursery men (or should I say ladies) or other visitors.  I really like buying plants this way as you often come across plants you wouldn’t find anywhere else and you can get lots of helpful advice.


Despite the lack of people in my pictures there were quite a few looking around the garden and it seemed that many had never visited before which was excellent for the garden as hopefully they will visit again. I don’t think I have visited at this time of year before, I seem to always visit earlier in the year so I was quite surprised to see the borders so full and the plants so tall – silly I know.


The pond at the far end of the garden had almost disappeared from view behind the foliage of the Gunnera and Lysichiton americanus. You can see how much by clicking on this link to my post about an April visit.   This is one of my favourite areas of the garden as I have a weakness for gunnera and also other moisture loving plants, maybe because I can’t grow them myself.


The tree peonies which I have admired in previous years were going over and the roses were beginning to take the starring role.  I do like the vertical accents of the columns although this is maybe a little grand for my small garden!


One of the things I always notice in this garden is the part the trees play. They add a nice canopy but without plunging the garden into deep shade. In some ways it is a good ploy to give you a range of environments from bright and open to more shady borders and this in turn extends the range of plants you can grow – always a good thing in my view.


Finally my favourite – the bee boles.  I would love one of these if I had a bigger garden.  There is something quite romantic about them, maybe it’s because they hark back to how things used to be which always seems to be attractive, although I am sure the reality would be very different.

And yes I did buy plants, have I ever managed to resist.  I bought a Salvia amistad, a white siberian iris, Lathyrus rotundifolius, Bomarea salsilla, Liriope muscari okina and Dactylorhiza praetermissa.  Some of my purchases were bought for specific locations but I must admit to some whims so I spent time this afternoon wandering around the garden pondering where I could shoe-horn then in.

All in all a great day, and there was cake too.  I will definitely go again next year.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. I adore Salvia Amistad….bought it at Hampton Court Flower Show 2 years ago. I now have 6 as I managed to propagate some cuttings for myself last year.They are now beginning to flower. Another success story is Gillenia trifoliata that I sowed in autumn 2013 (seeds were from Derry Watkins ‘Special Plants’)…according to Tim of ‘The Plantsman’s Preference’,the tricky bit is getting the seedlings through their first winter,so I overwintered them in my cold greenhouse,which proved to be a success. They are now planted out and in flower.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Sue
      I intend to try and take some cuttings of the salvia as well. I need to see how tender it is as well as I suspect I might need to give it some protection.

  2. Pauline says:

    It sounds as if you had a wonderful day out, I don’t think anything beats a garden visit with tea and cake! I do like your photograph with the trees, they really make a garden I think, but of course you do need lots of room!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Pauline
      yes you do need space for trees although these are quite close together.

  3. Linda B. says:

    I love seeing these gardens that are so different from my own. Looks like you had a wonderful day. And cake, too!

  4. Jardin says:

    Beautifully captured and I do agree with you about the bee boles!

  5. I rather like that bee-bole, too. It looks as one might expect from a medieval monastery!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I can imagine Cadfael looking after them

  6. Cathy says:

    I was totally in awe of the incredibly straight edge to the border in the third picture! What a superbly well kept garden. The bee boles are definitely the stars to my eye. If only I could go out for the day and buy such interesting plants! Had to google Salvia ‘Amistad’. Looks like a beauty – very large flowers for a salvia?

  7. Julieanne says:

    Sounds like a great market. I always enjoy being able to speak to the nursery people & get growing tips.

    As ever I enjoy your pics of Stockton Bury. It’s one of my favourites but I’m not able to visit as much anymore, so at least I can enjoy it vicariously through you 😊

    The bee boles are so beautiful, one of the gardens best features. And it has a lot of best features.

  8. Such a wonderful walk through the garden, the photos are so enjoyable…I have taken to removing almost all of the money from my pockets before visiting the gardening vendors, I get such criticism when I show up after an afternoon like this with more “must-have” plants that are just a bit taller than myself.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Charlie
      I go with limited cash and allow for refreshments. When it’s gone it’s gone!! I know I have no self control

  9. Yvone Ryan says:

    Lovely garden!!!!! Gunera is another plant that is going rampant here and on the ‘bad list’ such a shame as in big gardens with ponds amazing! Is that a varigated elm I see? I love them, lovely shape and lots planted around Christchurch. of course you HAD to buy some plants – that’s what plantaholics do!

  10. Brian Skeys says:

    How did I miss this????????

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