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Loved it, Loved it, LOVED IT!!!!!

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Loved what? Well – today, Louise and I went on an expedition to a Rare Plant Fair which happened to be at a garden a short drive from her house.

We didn’t quite know what to expect, but we found Holt Farm, drove across a field to park, and walked carefully towards the entrance to the Fair. Carefully…hmmm…yes.

A field with a view…

Watch out for the organic cow-pats, Louise!

How did I know they were organic? Read on! First, the Plant Fair. We went through a gate into an area where Nurseries had set up stands…all with very tempting plants.

….and yes, of course we bought some each!

However, that was just the start…the bit we both loved, loved, loved was…the garden at Holt Farm!

Let me tell you why I said the cow-pats were organic. Holt Farm is owned by the family who founded and still run Yeo Valley Creameries – they make wonderful yoghurt – have you heard of them? It’s all organic – and so is their beautiful 5-acre garden.

Here’s a view of their house.

We saw that on the way to the cafe, where we sat in the sun and had our lunch – home-made chocolate cake, anyone?

There’s the cafe – next to the house across the pool, and perfectly kept lawn.

The outside patio area looked over the vegetable garden, which was a sight to behold. Each raised bed had different vegetables in it, some of which I simply didn’t recognise – but how attractive they were in their own right!

Where are the slugs?

Could this be chard?

Right in the middle of this area is a very attractive water feature. The water trickles out of each leaf and down into a gravel surround.

In the cafe, a sign told us to visit the gravel garden, so we asked for directions and made our way there.

However, we had to stop at a wonderful wild flower meadow, in colours ranging from white, yellow, orange and through to red. Perfection. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

We could have lingered there – but our aim now was to see the gravel garden at the back of the house.

We walked past a long border planted with grasses and herbaceous plants – prairie-style. You can just get glimpses of the hills from this level.

And here it is – how about that balcony? From there, the owners can look across the gravel garden to the Mendip Hills. What a view!

The gravel garden planting blew us away – just wonderful. Ponds, perennials, colour, butterflies, and always, in the background, that view. The planting was perfect.

Oh, we loved it, loved it, loved it!

On our way back to the ‘organic’ field, we passed another wild-flower meadow. This was past its glory-stage. It must have been magnificent only a few weeks ago – we saw purple, pink, blue and white flowers, including cornflowers and linaria.

We walked through a newly planted silver birch grove, more water in the form of trickling streams and ponds, and an avenue of crab-apple trees. Imagine the blossom earlier in the year!

In their gravelled carpark, there’s a lovely touch – a dead mini filled with soil, and planted up with squashes!

I forgot – the land at the side of the house has a view of the nearby Blagdon lake – you’d almost think it was part of the garden. It certainly adds to the charm of this place!

Oh, I just can’t tell you how much we loved this garden – and we can’t wait to go back and see it at another time of year.

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Comments

 

So is this place open all the time then Spritz, or just on certain days. Would love to go to that place and probably not too far away from me, can you tell me where it is please.

12 Sep, 2010

 

what a wonderful place...the gravel gardens are stunning & love that water feature...i`d like to visit there too!

12 Sep, 2010

 

barbara so enjoyed your trip with louise, i loved it to, beautifull gardens and house, the meadow was stunning and so liked the pond and gravel area,,, perfect , wish we had such places here ;o))

12 Sep, 2010

 

I know you said you love organic but loading your mini with it is another I thought between you it would of been a 4 x 4 lol lovely gravel garden with that view, Mendip hills, was nt there racing there years ago.

12 Sep, 2010

 

What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing it with us!

12 Sep, 2010

 

A lovely place to visit. I enjoyed it, especially the flower meadow. Seeing that photo made me want to run through it lol
I'm glad you bought some plans aswell.

13 Sep, 2010

 

It was the best garden i've seen since my first visit to Wisley 4 years ago.

The cafe was a converted barn and was furnished 'throughout' in the most tasteful contemporary designs - they had done it exactly how i'd have done it myself ..... i was just 'blown away' by it.

Blown away by it all actually .....
..... the gardens, which were perfectly designed and planted and maintained,
....... the house which was one dreams are made of,
....... and the cafe and terrace - that area was so beautiful - think a terrace with a view in Tuscany and you'd be nearly right !

The different areas, to this property and garden, all complimented each other so very well.

The Rare Plant Fair was extremely good, we got there just after it opened at 11am (it went on til 4) and had the pick of the 'stock'.
Getting there after midday meant quite depleted stock levels, .... as i overheard one very cross lady saying ;-/

13 Sep, 2010

 

wow, what a beautiful place to visit, going to have to make the journey up there and visit next year :-)))))

13 Sep, 2010

 

gosh I can see why you loved it so much--- have put it on favorites to look at when i've more time ( adored the mini-- iused to have one-)

13 Sep, 2010

 

Cinders - it's open on Thursdays until the end of September. Then May - September next year, still just Thursdays as far as I know. The address is Holt Farm, Bath Road, Blagdon BS40 7SQ.

You can all tell that we just LOVED it! :-)))) I don't think we saw anything like all of it - there are 5 acres, after all.

13 Sep, 2010

 

No wonder you were both "blown away" by all these amazing plantings! Yeo Valley yoghurt is a hit here with us, but never imagined that there would be all this!!! Yes, that is chard in the pic, looking so healthy, too. Fantastic water feature!!! Many Thanks for sharing your great day out. :-)))

13 Sep, 2010

 

Fantastic garden and added to my favourites! Shall we all go before it closes end of the month? I am not far from Bath!

13 Sep, 2010

 

What a wonderfully beautiful place to visit, pleased you had a lovely day, the plant stalls look enticing even in a photo!! lol

13 Sep, 2010

 

Route planner says I am 1hr 6 mins away!

13 Sep, 2010

 

Just shows you what you miss around the corner! Im just a few miles away and didnt know about this. I must go see this year it looks amazing. Thank you sooo much Spritz for sharing. Just sorry I missed plant fair. I must admit I dont have room for a dead mini....
Just think of the compost heap...all that cow manure...

13 Sep, 2010

 

What a fabulous day you both must have had. Gardeners' Heaven with views, gardens and plants to buy!

13 Sep, 2010

 

That was certainly worth the drive Spritz. I'm so pleased you enjoyed yourselves and obviously it would have been difficult not to in such gorgeous place.

I think this place might even come close to being as nice as yours but without your waggy "butler"! Lol

13 Sep, 2010

 

what a lovely place to visit..... glad you both had a great day....

13 Sep, 2010

 

I'd happily meet up with anyone who's close enough to go :-)
The Plant Fair/sales won't be there, obviously, but to wander around the gardens and spend some time in their cafe/barn would be lovely :-))
Just say the word !!!
A beautiful warm sunny day would be a bonus, we were incredibly lucky to have that warm sunny day yesterday :-)))

13 Sep, 2010

 

wow u are right it looks beautiful love the mini

13 Sep, 2010

 

Is that you Spritz sitting and meditating at the other side of the pond........
This is a special kind of gardens to visit. Thanks for the tour. Pity we do not live nearer.

13 Sep, 2010

 

It's pure magic there. It could well have been me stitting looking at it all - but we were actually gazing at the view and the planting! Simply stunning. :-)))))

13 Sep, 2010

 

I'm sooooooooooooooo envious Spritz......that looks a fabulous place to visit. So pleased you and Louise had a lovely day. You omitted of course to tell us what plants you both bought.......Come on.....tell...lol :-o)))))

13 Sep, 2010

 

OK, OK...

1) Strobilanthes atropurpureus
2) Hardy Coreopsis - 'Pink Lady'
3) Solidaster luteus 'Lemore'
4) Fuchsia thymifolia...I think - like the one Louise has!
5) Chaenorhinum glareosum
6) Anemone 'Pamina'.

There you are!

Louise can add her list...:-)))

13 Sep, 2010

 

I forgot to tell you about their compost bins - there must have been about 20 of them tucked away in an enclosure, all with pull-down covers. How amazing was that - I'm green with envy! Mind you, with 5 acres, they'd need all that, wouldn't they.

13 Sep, 2010

 

Many thanks for the magical tour you`ve given us Spritz, can`t make it this year but its in the diary for next year for definite.

13 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks for the information Spritz, will definitely make a note for next year.

13 Sep, 2010

 

The 3 plants i bought are the last 3 in my photos section !
The gladiolus, shrub fuschia and pulmonaria.

14 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks girls....some lovely choices there :-))))

14 Sep, 2010

 

How lovely, the house and gardens look amazing :-))))

14 Sep, 2010

amy
Amy
 

What a fantastic day , I loved it too !! when I first started to look at the pics. it looked exactly the same as a rare plant fair we had been to some time ago , the same field , plants , barn cafe etc. but then this one just got better and better , I loved the gravel garden it makes mine look so tiny , in fact I loved all of it ..:o))

14 Sep, 2010

 

It is an amazing place, and I'm pleased that you can tell that from my photos! We're definitely going again...there's another plant fair planned there in May! I suspect we'll love it even more then....:-)))

14 Sep, 2010

 

Your blogs are always well layed out Spritz :-))

14 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks, Anne - it's just that it was such a stunning place, I don't think I did it justice!

14 Sep, 2010

 

A lovely place to go, although I will never get there as it is a long way from where I live. One question..were the plants that you bought any more expensive that at an ordinary nursery?.

14 Sep, 2010

 

No - I find that plants tend to be cheaper at plant fairs, depending on the Nursery, of course. The fuchsias we both bought were only £5 each, which I think was a great bargain!

14 Sep, 2010

 

Interesting stuff. Great blog!

15 Sep, 2010

 

Thank you, Anchorman. :-))

15 Sep, 2010

 

Fantastic blog as always Spritz, great photos, am so glad that you and Louise had such a good day out. Think that place definitely worth a visit, and not that many miles from us either! :~))))x

16 Sep, 2010

 

Maybe when the plant fair's on next May, you might like to join us there???

16 Sep, 2010

 

Sounds good to me! :~))))x

16 Sep, 2010

 

:-))))))) x

16 Sep, 2010

 

Come and pick me up Flori, it will only be a few hundred miles out of your way...or how about you Louise?? and we can have chocolate cake and tea mmmmm. Why do I live so far away:-( What a fantastic place Spritz, no wonder you love love loved it. I used to go to the plant fairs years ago, loved them, but never to so lovely a place:-)

16 Sep, 2010

 

No - it beat Wells Cathedral, too! That's where the other fair was. You'll have to have a holiday down here, Ba. ;-))

16 Sep, 2010

 

I wish:-)

17 Sep, 2010

 

So do I! ;-)

17 Sep, 2010

 

Lovely blog, hope to go too one day.
Cafe and cake sound nice too, last time I was at Wisley that was certainly not a high point!
Can you buy the yoghurt to eat there I wonder, now that would be a smart move. We buy it a lot, so delicious.

Only sad for that poor wasted mini, : o (( & squash plants need more light and room.
But I would have laughed my socks off if it had been a 4 x 4!

18 Sep, 2010

 

Well..I have another photo of some squashes that look amazing, dangling out of the mini windows! The whole car was almost FULL of soil, but the plants were all planted just inside the windows, so that probably explains the success. The mini didn't have an engine and was pretty bashed up, so I suppose they used it as a 'humorous' talking point rather than scrapping it.

I didn't see their yoghurt in the cafe, to be honest, but wouldn't be a bit surprised if they had used it to cook with.

19 Sep, 2010

 

I'm glad you had a lovely day out together. Plant fairs can turn up bargains and rarities - and they're fun.The gravel garden looks inspirational - and only 2 hours 59 minutes away from me! ;-)

I hear that Yeo Valley Yoghurt have agreed to change their packaging for more environmentally stuff. I hope they can get rid of the plastic and turn over to card only. I'll be looking out for it.

23 Sep, 2010

 

That wouldn't surprise me at all - as their garden 'and' their produce is organic. It's a magical place, Beattie.

23 Sep, 2010

 

Roll on a visit next year!

24 Sep, 2010

 

Oh, do - you won't be disappointed. :-)

24 Sep, 2010

 

Somehow I missed this blog until now Spritz. What a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing the pics with us. The gravel garden is really beautiful...do I really need/want a lawn? lol K ;)

2 Oct, 2010

 

Oh how I agree...but OH wouldn't let me go that far, Karen! :-(((

2 Oct, 2010

 

:)) It does make a good foil, grass. Oh well, just have to keep on mowing and edging...sigh!

2 Oct, 2010

 

Our latest house has virtually no grass in the garden. A little triangle under the washing line - about 12 feet per side. Otherwise, to give space to set off planting I just have paving. The mowing takes about 5 minutes - great!!

2 Oct, 2010

 

OH does the mowing here - on a sit-on mower, as well as a petrol driven one. Then guess who gets to clip the edges! I agree, really, Karen, grass does set the borders off - and, of course, it's good for Henry to run on.

3 Oct, 2010

 

I love the smell of it when you mow too!

3 Oct, 2010

 

True. :-)))

3 Oct, 2010

 

The meadow looks so inviting, Spritz....and your whole blog was such a feast for the eyes. The gravel gardens look so organized and well-tended too. A plant fair sounds like fun...I've never been to any and I suppose they happen all over the country...just need to find out where is closest!

I'm thinking grass or no grass just now too....it's the smell that I love when mowing as Karen says and I agree Spritz that grass sets off borders so nicely.

A ride-on mower would be the bees' knees for a large garden, Spritz....the trimming of edges is the tedious job. Thanks for a great blog, Barbara.

4 Oct, 2010

 

Funnily enough, I quite enjoy edging - even though it takes me most of a day. It's a very good way of making the garden look good. I'm not allowed to drive the sit-on mower.....heehee - I don't intend to learn, either!

Holt Farm was an absolute joy, Wh.l. Louise & I will definitely be going back next spring. Do a google for plant fairs - I'm always surprised to see how frequent they are! I suppose it's a bit late for this year, although the last one of the series that I found out about is on 11th Oct.

4 Oct, 2010

 

I have looked online but haven't located any fairs after the end of September. We are in the northwest, Barbara....and it seems it's rather late in the year to attend a fair but I will be on the lookout as spring arrives. Thanks for your suggestion.

4 Oct, 2010

 

I'm sure you'll find several next year. I'll try and remember to post the ones I get to hear about, as I'm on their mailing list now. This is only one of several 'outfits' that organise Plant Fairs, too.

4 Oct, 2010

 

Many thanks :)

4 Oct, 2010

 

:-))

5 Oct, 2010

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