Yeo Valley Organic Garden

The other week I spent  lovely 4 days with a group of friends exploring the gardens of Somerset and Wiltshire.  One of the gardens I was quietly looking forward to seeing was the Yeo Valley Organic Garden which we were due to see on our way home.

I’ve been aware of this garden for some time now.  It regularly features in magazines and on television sometimes because of its gravel garden and sometimes because it is one of only a handful of certified ornamental gardens in the country. Interestingly, their plants come from a small organic nursery just over the hill from me.

You arrive at the garden, nestled in the beautiful Yeo Valley, through the organic diary (I eat their yoghurt every morning).  You enter through a corridor of hedges, past a stunning greenhouse full of exotics and seedlings, a vegetable garden.  Where oh where was the gravel garden?  Past some yellow themed herbaceous borders.

Very nice and interesting use of yellow foliage.

Turn right past the grass border – lovely especially on a windy day such as when we visited. And then you go up the driveway to the house and round a corner and wow!

You can get a fantastic overview on entering if you go up the small mount with the viewpoint on the top (see top photo).

The gravel garden was planted up in 2011 and I just love its abundance.  This is my sort of garden. Swathes of perennials with plenty of space for them to grow tall and strong, merging into each other creating an amazing tapestry.

There’s a pond in the garden singing with damsel flies.

The farmhouse provides a focal point for the garden and it almost feels as though the house provides the backdrop for the garden rather than the garden providing the backdrop for the house.

Oh and off to one side is the birch grove with shade loving planting, a perennial meadow and an annual meadow which had just been recently tilled.

And all of this has been done organically with no pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals.

It was my favourite garden of the whole trip.  I have so many photos of the gravel garden which is always a sign that I loved it.   I have included just a handful of my favourite photos in this post but if you are down in Somerset I would really recommend making a small detour to visit this garden – it has a great cafe as well.

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Maxine Grice says:

    Have visited several times, but most recently 2 weeks ago – it really is a magical place, with a great team and such a quirky tea room, just love everything about it!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I loved the tea room, wonderful decor, pottery, and delicious fare

  2. I have driven passed that garden many times on my way to and from my daughter but never made the time to visit. Now I’ve seen your photos I will make time to call in. Glad you enjoyed your garden visits.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Do, and allow time for them tea room

  3. Jenny says:

    You have so many gardens at your fingertips and so many I have never even heard of. You might guess that gravel gardens are my favorite too. I’m sure you have been to Beth Chatto’s and the one at East Ruston. Are there many more. If so I shall see if I can fit them on our itinerary next year.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I have indeed been to Beth Chattos but not East Rushton, yet. It just seems a better approach to me than lawn and borders

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Those birches look like they were built there rather than grown. That will really be something as they mature. Years ago, such groves were planted with more casual European white birches. They leaned and were much more irregular.

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    That is a really inspirational garden and the kind of thing I aspire to although in a much smaller way, of course. Thanks for the tour.

  6. Ali says:

    It looks beautiful. Definitely one for the list!

  7. Brian Skeys says:

    Having visited twice I would put this as one of my favourite gardens alongside Great Dixter and Beth Chattos. The toilets contain some amusing pictures!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Indeed, I became quite transfixed by the handwashing bowls in the ladies. A lovely place which I plan to revisit sometime.

  8. I grew up in Blagdon, but have never been to the Yeo Valley Organic Garden. Everyone says it’s lovely. I must go when I am next down. It’s a stunning setting with Blagdon Lake in the background.

  9. rusty duck says:

    Oh my. That is my sort of garden too. I’m sure I’ve seen it on the telly, the house looks familiar, but had no idea it was so close to us. On the list for this year now, thanks Helen!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Its definitely been on TV, I think someone from GW went there to look at gravel gardens a couple of years ago, maybe Adam Frost

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