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Westonbury in warmer weather


It was in April 2015 that I last visited Westonbury Water Gardens, just off the A44 near Pembridge in Herefordshire. Having told my friends about it, they were keen to see it for themselves but due to other commitments, I ended up taking them in turn on three separate visits in July and August of this year. However, I have treated all three visits as though they were one, which may help explain why the farmer cut and baled his hay at such speed!
The forecast of hot, dry weather turned out to be true as we drove into the car park. It was midday by the time we arrived so we had lunch first, sitting outside in the sunshine. We then set off and entered the gardens near the dovecote, which seemed to yawn sleepily in the heat, along with the doves atop its castellated roof.

Spotting an African style hut, we went inside and sat within its circular walls; the heat of the day allowing us to appreciate its cool interior. I was amazed at how the garden had been transformed by the lush growth and riot of colour since my previous visit.
The all-round views reminded us that we had the rest of the gardens to see so we continued on, coming to a pond with a sculpture of stones in the centre and approached via pretty flower-lined pathways.

Following one of these paths we came to the far side of the pond and then…

…another pond creates a backdrop to the bottle ‘bank’; whilst a narrow stream leads millwards…

…’neath bridges that run through tunnels formed by giant leaves of Gunnera. Between the bridge struts tiny blue flowers shout’ ‘Forget us not’’.

More water in the form of streams running alongside the garden where meadowsweet looks not skywards but down to reflected sky! Ripening berries remind us that autumn is not far off.

Dreaming spires of rusting seedheads and purple loosestrife looks out onto open farmland…

…where haymaking is in progress and bricks parallel the shape of background bales beyond.

Steps of copper bracket fungus and sawn-off tree trunks lead to…

…a cuckoo clock tower…

…where ingeniously hand-made designs use recycled musical-box type workings and…Guinness beer cans!

More re-cycling; this time in the form of bottles, banking into shapes…

…of buildings and of pools, where the golden glint of coins mingles with reflected colours of glass

Stands of pots and fronds of palms give a jungly feel…

and sunshine colours reflect the heat of the day

Willows waterfall into cool pools and a tunnel shades us as our thoughts turn to home and we head back…

….past shaded seats….

…and the heat of red hot pokers; back around the old mill (now a private house where the garden owner lives) and along the path that leads across the bridge to the Tearoom, where we quench our thirst before climbing back into the car and heading for home.

The End (’til next time:)

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What a lovely spot. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

17 Aug, 2016


Great blog with some interesting shots. I remember the dovecote from one you did before but don't remember the waterfall on the side! There area lovely contrasts with the cool woodsy photos alongside the hot autumn colours. Great bracket fungi too.

17 Aug, 2016


I appreciate seeing your part of the world. Love that bottle building. How clever.

18 Aug, 2016


What a wonderfully told blog. Can understand why you did 3 trips showing your friends. Looks an enchanting garden.

18 Aug, 2016


Really enjoyed your blog, very well observed and some lovely prose. Like your: "Willows waterfall into cool pools and a tunnel shades us as our thoughts turn to home and we head back". Poetry there! Loved the bottle pool with the rich colours reflecting. By the time I reached the shady arbour I felt hot and sticky! Apart from that the garden itself is beautiful, love the planting, leaf shapes and colour mixes. Just have to go in 2017.

18 Aug, 2016

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