The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

A visit to Wollerton Old Hall Gardens, Shropshire - May 2013


I was visiting the UK for a family celebration (a 70th birthday, no less) but I was determined to drag the OH to at least ONE English garden… alas that I chose the worst day of a cold wet and blustery visit! The wind was gale-force, the rain lashing, the cold penetrated even my sweater/bodywarmer/raincoat combination… But it was worth the suffering: the gardens are, even with those handicaps, stunning.

The garden is divided into many formal and beautiful ‘rooms’ near the house (and believe me we needed the protection of the various hedges and walls – rushing from one summerhouse to another, in between times!) – with a more informal stretch beyond. Our kind guide (Head Gardener, I believe) was endlessly patient with our queries – and apologetic that on this appointed Open Day the plants hadn’t quite yet put on the full show he could have wished, or allowed him to establish the tender summer bedding… Doesn’t that sound like this year’s story, everywhere to date?!)

Nevertheless there was plenty to see and admire (see the Lime AllĂ©e below), though sadly the OH couldn’t be persuaded to stand around in the blizzard trying to take many photographs… (!)

Managed to catch a few for my wish-list, though – isn’t this a beauty? (Clematis Koreana ‘Blue Eclipse’)

Or this? Salvia ‘Amistad’, a recent planting, I think we were told…

I like the Camassia and wild garlic combination, too, don’t you?

… with the tulips (they too flowering later than usual, of course) still valiantly giving their last.

I also lusted after the rather splendid Pergola, glimpsed in a momentary beam of sunshine – I have JUST the place in my garden here in the Limousin where that could go – for long shady convivial lunches in the summer heat (!) – and the vine which would help shade it is longing for a new support!) – but sadly, I haven’t yet persuaded the OH to export his considerable DIY skills to France, for me…

It was a lovely visit from the social aspect also, all these MAD Englishwomen (and -men) huddled together in thick raincoats, wiping our faces against the rain, exchanging friendly comments, and gloating together over the scented plants of a Smilacina racemosa, or up at a beautiful Cornus controversa variegata (would love that one, I’ve always had a weakness for plants with variegations and stripes…)

One poor lady gardener was just a little TOO enthusiastic, however: lost in admiration of a climbing plant in the Pond garden, she backed slowly away, wielding her fabulously expensive camera… And – splosh! (yes, you guessed the rest…) Fortunately both she and the camera seemed unhurt (though she at least was soaked to the skin)…

I hope she soon retired, as we eventually did, to the excellent and cosy tea-room, there to consume reviving chocolate fudge cake and that traditional English pick-me-up: a Nice Cup of Tea!

(and no, the grim expression on the face is not my normal one – it’s just my facial muscles gradually thawing out!) :o}

I shall certainly be going back to Wollerton Old Hall if I can – there will be so much more to see, a little later in the season – preferably without thermal underwear, next time, though…

More blog posts by monjardinlra

Previous post: Spring specials in Southern France

Next post: A year for experiments? just in case there isn't a next one...



lovely blog, and very interesting to see what it's like at Woolerton Old Hall. Shropshire isn't very far from me and it's where we sometimes have holidays. It looks well worth a visit, so I'll have to look it up and find out exactly where it its. You've taken some lovely photos despite the rain, and I hope you enjoyed your tea:)

1 Jun, 2013


When you have such awful weather but can still convey what a lovely and interesting place this is it has to be worth visiting.
Love the camassia and that clematis, I shall put this on my list of places to visit.....thank you.

1 Jun, 2013


Nobody would guess that the weather was bad - you made the most of the fine intervals!

1 Jun, 2013


Really enjoyed reading your blog, thanks! Quite agree about the clematis - beautiful.

1 Jun, 2013


PS: I should add what the blog didn't make clear, I was the one who took the incompetent blurry wiped-out written notes (anyone know, by the way, what 'Salvia D... Jy' might mean - it was pink I seem to remember?...) - OH at my request meanwhile took most of the photos, for the compliments on which, many thanks on his behalf!

2 Jun, 2013

Add a comment

Recent posts by monjardinlra

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    19 Feb, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Jan, 2009

  • bik

    Gardening with friends since
    25 Aug, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Aug, 2012

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    17 Apr, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009