Friday 24 May 2013

Barnsley Village Festival

Last weekend was the 25th Barnsley Village Festival. Through the magic of Twitter I had connected with Adrian Valentine of Perfect Pergolas, one of the organisers of the event and he suggested that it may be of interest to me.

The Barnsley Festival was founded by one of Britain's finest gardeners, the late Rosemary Verey. The small Cotswold village is home to several examples of her work, from her own splendid garden at Barnsley House Hotel to smaller gardens in and around the village. I was unsure as to whether I would go as the weather had been quite unsettled. I didn't think I would get very many appealing pictures if it was cold, wet and windy with grey skies, flowers bouncing around in the wind and visitors looking grim, huddled up against the cold in their winter coats! Checking the forecast the night before however, it seemed that it might be a reasonable day after all, if not especially summery, so I decided I would get away early on the Saturday morning.
Afetr a two hour drive I arrived in the delightful village, parking in the designated field in glorious sunshine. The entrance fee to the event gets you a garden passport giving you access to 11 gardens, including Barnsley House, Barnsley Arboretum,  and Barnsley Park, a fine Georgian House whose gardens are only open on Festival Day.

Cherry Blossom in the Arboretum

A giant chair carved out of the stump of a tree

I loved this huge pot tucked away in the corner of one of the gardens


Down tools

These next few pictures are taken in The Little House garden, designed by Rosemary Verey.

The view from the garden back into the village

Cowslips and Forget me nots

 The garden currently hosts an exhibition of work by two local sculptors, Stephanie Cushing and Joanne Walker

The front garden at The Little House

Ice cream seller

Music from the Salvation Army Band

Town Crier

Winner of the best garden ( Barn Cottage) collects her prize from celebrity chef Phil Vickerey

Celebrity guest Fern Britten accepts a bouquet from Barnsley House Head Gardener  Richard Gatenby as Phil Vickerey looks on

Entertainment for the children from Robbo

The traffic ladies

Plant sales

Beautiful Ceramics

More plants for sale

The barbeque at The Village Pub

Vintage watering cans

Cherry blossom and Cotswold stone

Barnsley House

Plant sales at the front of the hotel

Morris Dancing on the lawns

Exploring the gardens

Apple blossom in the Potager

The Potager


The Herbs for Healing Garden

The Herbs for Healing garden is owned by Davinia Wynne-Jones. Davinia grew up in the famous gardens at Barnsley House, sharing a passion for herbs with her mother Rosemary Verey.

Davinia Wynne -Jones conducting a tour of her garden

Dicentra spectablis

Late afternoon and time for tea and cake

The walk back to the car along lanes full of beautiful Cow Parsley

 I had a wonderful time at the festival and must thank Adrain for telling me about it. There was so much more to see including the Festival of Flowers at Barnsley Church of St Mary the Virgin, an organ recital by Chris Cannock, Maypole Dancing by the children of Bibury C of E Primary School and JB Jazz and Blues performing in The Village Pub. If you get the chance to go next year, do. You won't regret it.

Thursday 23 May 2013

RHS Malvern Spring Show Part 3

And finally - the gardens!

There was a fantastic input from local schools for this year's show. The theme was books.

 This garden built by Stanley Road Primary School, Worcester, was inspired by Oscar Wilde's 'The Selfish Giant'. The giant's chair watches over the children's play area and is made from Elm wood.

This garden was built by Meadows First School Bromsgrove and is called 'The Hundred Acre Meadow' based on A.A.Milnes Winnie-The-Pooh. The garden was based on a design created by a young girl who was just 4 years old at the time.

Masses of colour and a 'chocolate' water feature in this garden built by Parkside Middle School, Bromsgrove. This garden looked to Roald Dahl's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' for inspiration.

This very clever garden built by Pershore College took it's direction from 'The Wizard of Oz'. You can clearly see the yellow brick road. the Tin Man, Toto the dog, and if you look closely near the centre of the picture you can see a lion hiding amongst the plants! Dorothy is lying in a bed cover by a rainbow quilt and the wicked Witch of the West has been flatted by the bed, only her stripey legs visible. The Emerald City is represented by a water feature made from green bottles and just out of shot is a rotating wire helix playing the part of the tornado.

The Show Gardens

Best in Show. Garden by Peter Dowle

Return to the Med. Garden by Garden House Design

The Daleks have landed! HMP Helwell.

Hiding behind the sofa.

Gold Medal garden by WorldSkills International 2013

 Reposer Vos Roues by Villaggio Verde. Another Gold Medal winner

 Mark Eveleigh's Boathouse No. 9. Winner of a Silver-Gilt medal 

 And finally another Gold Medal garden by Alchemy Gardens.

 I think this is probably my favourite garden and it's design was inspired by Cornwall's Trebah garden, a sub-tropical paradise in a Cornish valley which cascades down to a secluded beach on the Helford River. It's centre-piece, a late 19th century cast iron spiral staircase was found in a local reclamation yard by the designer, Paul Taylor, and is believed to have been the original staircase in the old Kidderminster library, which was demolished in the 1990's.