I say it so frequently over on my Instagram when people comment on my flower photos, I’m really not a gardener. It takes too much time, I don’t have an idea of what to do or an interest in learning. We have a paddock, a wall of rough-looking wildflowers (which I did plant from seeds) and some overgrowth of wild chives and wildflowers (obviously spread from the wall ones) amongst the shrubby roses that the in laws planted one year.
One day I will get a gardener in to landscape it and do me some borders and a raised bed somewhere, but otherwise it’s just what it is and we can live with that. It’s always handy just to have a patch of grass when you’ve got kids wanting to play.
But I am a big fan of flowers. More so than previously, thanks to the photography opportunities flowers bring. That means lots of day trips out to places like National Trust. I’ve pretty much exhausted those near us, but did spend one weekend visiting 3 new to us.
Not having N with me meant I could relax and not have a child wanting a) a lunchbox on arrival and b) somewhere to play.
Hidcote Gardens are beautiful with lots of different areas, plants and flowers, and plenty of acres to explore even outside the formal gardens. I was quite happy to mooch from one area to the next, with plenty to see and not worrying about where abouts I was going on the map.
There were a couple of areas shut off, presumably to give the plants time to recover or working in them, but that wasn’t a problem with so much else to see. People were playing croquet on the great lawn, and I spotted the tennis court although it didn’t look like there was anything to play with there.
There was a wedding being set up in the plant house, and I can see why people would want to get married there with the gardens as a backdrop. Although it was busy as the weather was beautiful, so it was hard to get photos in empty garden areas.
After wandering round the gardens for a couple of hours, I grabbed a quick lunch before heading off to Chastleton House for the afternoon. The food options were similar to usual in National Trust restaurants, but the table number method didn’t really work for single people. Instead of giving out a number for you to take to a table and show for the waiting staff to find you, you had to find a table first and give the till staff your table number. Being on my own that wasn’t practical – I wasn’t wearing coats or bags I could leave alone at a table out of sight. I had an expensive camera, bag with purse that I needed to pay with, and no spare clothes given it was a hot day. The staff really didn’t like that I didn’t have a number so had to ring me through as ‘lady in the blue top’ until I had paid, found a table and then returned to tell them my table number. A ridiculous method, especially in busy periods where there may not be a table and you might need to wait for one to be free.
Apart from that, it was a lovely morning spent wandering around pretty gardens, perfect with all the summer colours and quirky corners to explore.
Do you visit gardens? Where are your favourites?
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