(The photo above isn't one I've taken, but it's from the Breezy Knees website. Just get a load of those borders!)
Here's a few more photos from our visit to Yorkshire's Breezy Knees Gardens, as promised.
Not only did the array of huge poppies look fabulous, but I learnt the importance of either staking them or - better still - surrounding their foliage with other plants that can offer support. Otherwise they flop as if the effort of keeping upright is just all too much faff.
So many poppies.
All the beds are well mulched with bark chippings, meaning staff don't water anything except new plants being added to borders. The mulch is essential as otherwise watering would be a non-stop job in the height of summer, wouldn't it?
Up close and personal with an Allium.
I did take other pictures but was having camera (or more accurately tablet) trouble, partly 'cause the sun was so strong I struggled to see the screen. So can't post photos of the many and varied iris we saw. Iris were everywhere, and like the poppies they come in a wide range of colours. I wrote down the varieties I especially liked - Iris Sibirica 'Melton Red Flare' and a dramatic velvety Iris 'Deep Black'. Stunners!
I'd love to go back to Breezy Knees, and particularly experience it throughout the four seasons. It's such a large site I reckon you could pack an awful lot of visitors in before it even felt remotely busy, though I bet it's a popular place on a Bank Holiday.
When I win the lottery ( ... I have these dreams, despite the fact I don't bother buying Lotto tickets ...) I'll buy a piece of land and divide it up into 'rooms', those spaces so beloved of garden designers. I'll have colour themes for my 'rooms'. Luminous swathes of all white flowers nestling in green foliage. A section with cool, silvery green leaved plants, restful on the eyes. Another section with foliage that's dramatically purple and ruby and bronze. A wide, generous herbaceous border with every colour of the rainbow to delight the senses. A formal herb garden. A sculpture trail. Oh, so many things you could do ... if you had the money and the space.
Just a final quick note: I did say in my previous post that the lack of labels in some cases made identifying plants difficult. I'd also add another tiny criticism of the site - whoever designed the beds does love a ruler and set square. Lots of right angles - straight paths and sharp corners. Some of the wide flower borders would benefit from having winding paths that meander lazily through them, or just are sited less rigidly around them. So corners to beds as softened, lines relaxed. It'd be more naturalistic and conducive to having that unhurried, relaxing stroll. But it's a small drawback when there're so many positives.
Anyone else visited these gardens, or are planning a visit?
I'm betting you've never heard of a place called Warthill. Neither had I before I was driven there yesterday. I'd never heard of a place called Breezy Knees Gardens either. It's advertised as 'The Flower Garden of Yorkshire' and is set in 20 acres not far from the city of York. There're deep, abundant herbaceous flower borders ablaze with colour, a rose garden, a conifer garden and a rock garden, a decorative fountain, a cafe and horticultural nursery, and lots more (including a sculpture of a pair of huge wellington boots and a version of Stonehenge made of greenery rather than stones.) If you're interested in expanding your knowledge of plants or simply love looking at one splendid flower or shrub after another you're going to love Breezy Knees. It was a gorgeously sunny day, and we strolled around to the sound of birdsong and saw dozens and dozens of fat bumble bees greedily feasting on the stunning flowers.
It's a great place for working out what you like and what you don't in terms of colours, shapes and textures, especially if - like me - you're a total novice when it comes to planning a successful flower border and creating something harmonious to the eye.
I know some fashionable types think alliums are yesterday's news, but I still admire their graceful stems and that mauve 'pom-pom' on top.
Every time I saw these I had to stroke them, like velvety bunnies ear. Must have some for my garden as they're so wonderfully tactile.
Pretty things everywhere you looked.
There were masses of poppies. White, pale pink, and of course the classic red.
Lots of beautiful, stately lupins too.
I took more photos so will pop them on the blog soon. I'd definitely recommend a trip to Breezy Knees. If you or a friend/relative have limited mobility the majority of the site's wheelchair accessible which is great. It's £6.50 for adults, £2.00 for children, and there's a small but good cafe and (clean and nicely maintained) loos. You can wander over to their website www.breezyknees.co.uk for more info. I can imagine most teenagers would be bored witless by it , but it's a grand day out for the rest of us.
The only slight drawback was the not-too-brilliant labeling of plants in the borders. It could be frustrating if you wanted to make notes for future ref. So you probably want to take lots of photos and get your plant A to Z book out at home in the evening in order to play amateur sleuth and identify them. Either that or end your visit with a wander around their horticultural nursery where all the plants were clearly labeled and make your notes then. If you have a few quid to spend you can go home with an array of plants too, just to make your day complete.
Moved from a garden-less city flat in the South West to a Yorkshire village in 2016. I now have a garden ... of sorts.