A self-proclaimed “plant geek,” Cheryl received her Horticulture degree at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She spent many years working in the Otter Creek Landscape division and at John Michael Kohler Arts Center gardens. She’s now the office manager for The Wreath Factory and Otter Creek Landscape. Check out her blog for tips, travels and things that pop up in her garden.


No Worries from England
by Cheryl Walsh - posted 06/15/14

I am blogging from England on my garden tour of 28 gardens in 9 days with the Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society.  All I can say is this is amazing!  We are seeing about three gardens a day with some public and some private gardens.  Some private gardens are noted as NGS which is the National Garden Scheme.  Those designated gardens are open for a brief period of time and all the monies go to charities.  There are strict requirements to be registered as an NGS garden where you must have at least 45 minutes of interest.


These lupines and delphiniums were at the Elvaston Castle Country Park near Derby.  The enthusiastic head gardener gave us a tour of the James Wyatt designed gardens from the early 1800′s which included many topiaries and many long lived, large trees.  I found the stone castles & homes with lots of stone walkways and walls to be perfect back drops for hedges, climbing roses and flowering perennials.



This NGS garden court yard was from the home of an artist that served us tea and biscuits.  There was so many vignettes and garden art pieces that captured our eyes here that I probably took over 100 pictures.


This hidden herbaceous garden had surprises in every corner.  There were also poppies, astrantias, lady’s mantles, alliums, barberries, elderberries and many plants that I didn’t know the names of and was disappointed to learn that it is too cold in our area to plant them.


Another NGC garden tour with a very passionate host who also served us tea and pastries.  Behind the perennial border was a field of sheep which peaked my interest.  When riding in our coach bus, we saw miles and miles of dry stacked stone walls dividing the fields where many contained sheep.  It was comforting to know that there are also plant collectors in England as she had many unplanted perennials that she was excited to show us.  Usually she gives cuttings or divided plants to her tour guests but since we couldn’t take those home with us, she gave each of us (all 29 of us) an English gardening magazine.  We quickly each took one and have been trading them on our bus for the past few days.


This view is called a Ha Ha where you have an unobstructed view for miles and miles.  It was breath taking!  At several other gardens, other Ha Ha’s were pointed out to us.  I don’t think I will grow tired of the rolling hills, green fields, stone fences and amazing gardens ever.

This is so much fun and I already have many ideas for redesigning my gardens at home.  Depending on the availability of Wi Fi and free time allowed, I plan to show you more in the next few days.

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