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Yellow Book gardens - they're all different


By AndrewR


I have visited three Yellow Book gardens in the last week.

The first was a “plantsman’s informal garden” which sounded exciting to a plantaholic like me. But I found it disappointing as there was nothing particularly unusual and some of the borders really needed a good sorting out.

Next was “a well kept secret hidden beside the elegant façade of its Georgian centrepiece.” There were nine acres of mixed borders, specimen trees, working kitchen gardens and greenhouses. I spent two hours there and could quite happily have spent more. Some terrific plant and colour combinations and a few rarities to get the horticultural juices flowing too.

Today was “an exceptional range of rare, unusual and architectural plants.” This was an eclectic mix of eucalyptus trees, borderline hardy shrubs and perennials and more usual cottage garden plants. A thought-provoking mix which is a polite way of saying it not my cup of tea but I got some ideas from it.

On this site, you have Alan and Grenville’s miniature masterpiece in Bristol, the classic cottage at Little Larford and, next year, spritzhenry’s domain in Dorset which we have been watching develop through Barbara’s blogs and photos.

Whatever your taste, there’s a Yellow Book garden for you. Some have plant sales, some offer teas with home-made cakes, many have both. And all the money raised goes to worthy charities. Please support the Yellow Book gardens and have a great day out.

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Does the yellow book state if the the gardens are suitable for disabled people ? It would be no good me going to any of them unless they were. I have to consider one person in a wheelchair, another very arthritic person with poor mobility, aswell as myself with arthritis.

27 Jul, 2008


Yes Blodyn the yellow book states if the garden is suitable for the disabled

27 Jul, 2008


Thanks Andrew for this Blog, and your kind comment about our garden.Its a great pleasure opening our garden to the public and raising money for charity. As you state, each garden in the N.G.S is unique, and the scheme supports a wide and diverse range of gardens. We are proud that our garden is the smallest in the entire scheme.
With best wishes,
Grenville and Alan.

27 Jul, 2008


One small correction - I am in Somerset, Andrew! As the garden is going to be open next year, I've been dragging my poor husband round NGS gardens recently, too. We need to find out about how they organise things, what the standards are like and so on. We have seen some interesting gardens and had the pleasure of talking to the owners. One of the ones we went to this afternoon was just beautiful and the owners spent an hour with us - I went round with 'her' and we talked plants and colours, and husband sat with 'him' and one of the County Organisers and talked through difficulties and how to resolve them. What a pleasure to meet such lovely people willing to give us their time (after official closing time.) They are coming down to visit us when we open!

27 Jul, 2008


There are some very nice NGS gardens, I know, but some are disappointing. I visited two early in the year. One had a nice collection of hellebores and I was looking forward to taking a few photos to show at my gardening club (U3A) and intended encouraging other people to visit.. Before we entered the garden we were told not to take any photos. I inquired from the local organiser if this was a general policy and she said no,it was up to the owner - but I wouldn't have travelled there if I had known.
The second one had quite a nice collection of alpines but the cup of tea we were given at 3pm must have been made at 11am when the garden opened!

1 Aug, 2008

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