Stone House Cottage Garden (& Nursery)
Blessed with good weather we went for a drive to visit Stone House Cottage Gardens. This is a well hidden almost secret garden that you can locate near West Midlands Safari Park in Kidderminster. The Garden is listed in the RHS Members Handbook and is also in the Gardeners' World 2for1 Entry Guide supplement.
After parking the car we approached the redbrick arch entrance and were greeted by the owner Louisa Arbuthnott and her canine companions. We felt immediately welcome and relaxed within the stunning surroundings (even the gravel carpark is beautiful with plants popping out from everywhere).
We walked through the Wisteria entwined archway and were faced with a choice as there were three pathways divided by neatly clipped yew hedges. Having paused briefly at a small cool and shady corner next to the archway we decided to go to the left and explore the walled space in a clockwise direction.
What first captivated us was the immediate silence and sense of stillness. Bearing in mind that you are quite close to a couple of A-roads the high walls and abundant planting block so much of the traffic noise. We walked ahead and it was like venturing into a bright and sunny enchanted room. The sound of bird song became apparent as we found ourselves in a wild meadow area. There were carefully mown walkways in perfectly straight lines cutting through the various planted areas that featured soft grasses, poppies and so many lovely Geraniums planted in a naturalistic way .
Openings in the hedges enticed us of what was to come. Towards the back of the garden diagonally opposite the entrance is a tower that you may walk up to take in the view. Beyond that you will find a deep woodland valley backdrop with the Hoo Brook running below.
This diamond shaped garden is one for all of the senses and is a total gem. For me it is all about opposites that compliment each other: light and shade, coolness and warmth, smoothness and texture.
As you explore the well stocked and wide borders of the different rooms, you too will see that the plants aplenty have been lovingly and meticulously labelled and planted in a way that suggests total effortlessness. This is gardening on a different level and is obviously an obsession.
These few photographs just give a taster of what to expect, As you will have seen from this Blog I am not one to publish multiple photos of one visit. I feel it is more enticing to the prospective visitor if I can enable them to dip their toes in and get a flavour of what is to come when they inevitably (hopefully) visit a garden.
If you want to purchase from their well-stocked and very reasonably priced Nursery (and you will) take cash or a cheque. We came home with a Euphorbia stygiana which is going to placed in a sunny and sheltered spot next to the potting shed once the soil composition has been improved with sand.
This is definitely one to return to as the seasons change - really very lovely and definitely one for the romantics amongst us.