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Stonehouse Cottage Garden

This 34 acre garden began in 1974 when it was bought by Louisa and James Arbuthnott.  Previously, the walled kitchen garden of a Georgian house, the brick walls had obviously inspired James to build various follies and towers, There was even a miniature railway track around the outside perimeter complete with brick engine house (no sign of train!)

Inside was a plethora of cottage garden plants, set in "rooms” divided by hedges, making the garden look much bigger than it was. The coloured themed beds of yellow blue, pink and white were composed of both common plants, such as hardy geraniums, Nepeta and iris, and rarer flowers, shrubs and flowers, such as the Buddleia crispa and B. colvilli ‘Kewensis’.   On the other side of the hedge were areas of wild flowers.

There was also a well stocked nursery specialising in unusual wall shrubs, climbers and herbaceous plants.  I couldn't resist a Melica uniflora f. albida, an airy spring flowering grass.

This was the last, and for me, the best, garden we had visited, and the last chance for our plantaholic members to buy more plants and add to the already full up hold of the coach, surplus plants now having to go inside with the passengers!

It was a lovely trip, and in case nobody's told you, we ate lots of cake!

Sandy Elliott

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