Well I suppose that lovely Autumn weather had to end at some point. Warm sunshine has been replaced by torrential rain and it’s so dark I need the light on at lunchtime. I’m even thinking about lighting the fire. So to cheer myself up I had a look through some old photos from garden visits. I love looking through my old gardening photos. I’ll come across somewhere I haven’t visited for a while and make a note to return their next year. It’s also a good opportunity to have a look for inspiration for my own garden next year.
I visited Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, Wiltshire in the Spring of 2010. The owners are the famous ‘naked gardeners’ but don’t worry they’re not naked all the time. Although they do have special ‘clothes optional’ days if you would like to join them.
The gardens are also famous for their tulip displays, one of the largest in the UK, they plant around 20,000 tulips every year. I don’t like having to plant 40 so I have great respect for their dedication, or could it be addiction.
The garden lies in the shadow of Malmesbury Abbey and there is a medieval feel to the garden with its box edged borders and topiary, both providing a great background to the strident colours of the tulips. Don’t expect designer style planting though, there is no restraint in the colour palette. Once you get used to the fact that a red tulip might be planted in amongst pink tulips with some dark ones next door, then you can marvel at the sheer exuberance of the garden.
Abbey House Gardens are not just about tulips though. There is an abundance of other bulbs and with over 200 varieties of fruit the gardens are smothered in blossom in Spring. There is an incredible laburnum tunnel, a good selection of roses and other plants providing interest throughout the year. There is also a beautiful river walk for something that bit more naturalistic.
I would definitely recommend a visit. For more information go to www.abbeyhousegardens.co.uk.