The garden is full of meandering paths with a mix of quiet, secluded corners and more open spaces. Dotted throughout are metal sculptures, some practical and some purely decorative. It has been voted 'Most Romantic Garden' and I can fully understand why when wandering through the Grass Garden, Fernery and around the lake and within the woodland areas. The garden is managed organically and is brimming with wildlife.
Ros' ethos is one of ordered chaos and the success of her approach is evident in managing to maintain and continue to develop such a beautiful garden with only a small amount of part-time help. It reminds you that if a plant is happy in its space it will fight off most pests and disease without much if any intervention from us.
I have been quite slow in sitting down to write this blog but sat here today thinking back to Moors Meadow provides a joyful contrast to the studied artifice, primping and perfectionism that goes into a Chelsea Garden.
Another discovery for me was Syringa lanciniata or cut-leaf lilac. I haven't come across this variety of lilac before and am surprised that it isn't available more widely. It has dark, daintily dissected leaves which will make it an attractive garden addition throughout the summer and the scent is just how it should be. I have a sentimental fondness for the much more common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, but it's a very uninteresting shrub for such a short flowering season.
As it was still quite early in the season many perennials were yet to strut their stuff but the garden was still full of interest. We all drooled over the sumptuous array of hellebores and there was an abundance of blossom and other spring jewels such as trilliums and lamprocapnus (dicentra in old money). There was one particular Lamprocapnos which was new to me and now on my wish-list, with dark green foliage and a much richer, deeper pink flower than many of the varieties easily available. Having squinted and peered across the web, I am fairly sure it was 'Bacchanal'.
A couple of weeks ago I met up with some of my old college friends for one of our regular garden visits. We all travelled into Pershore College from different directions and so we now have a good excuse to visit each others patch and discover new gardens a little further from home than we might usually travel. Aprils visit was to Moors Meadow near Bromyard in deepest Herefordshire.
The garden doesn't have regular opening hours anymore but they are still happy to welcome visitors, you just need to ring or email in advance. If there are enough of you (we were 8) you can also arrange a tour around the garden with Head Gardener Ros Bissell. The garden was started by Ros' parents in 1955 and has steadily grown from a small patch around the house to fill 7 acres. Its a very informal garden and definitely one for the plantaholics amongst us. Ros provided an entertaining, relaxed and very knowledgeable tour of the garden and we completely forgot the cold and blustery weather during our 90 minute expedition. This is not a garden for those who like things neat, clipped and in their place. It is very much a naturalistic garden which flows with the contours of the landscape and the owners whims and passions for particular plants and their relations.