People often ask me how I find the open gardens that I visit on the National Garden Scheme in the UK. There is a yearly book, Gardens To Visit on the National Garden Scheme, that I send for, that lists the gardens, the date they will be open and a small description of the garden with directions to get there. Then I look to see what gardens are in the vicinity to my lodgings on the dates that I will be there. Most gardens are open on Saturday and Sundays. There has always been more than one garden to see on the Saturdays and Sundays I was available. I LOVE the Group Openings! These are several gardens, in very close proximity that are featured together. Sometimes you may see seven or more gardens in a day depending on how much time you spend in each garden.
In the previous post I wrote about Cowbeech House, which was part of the Herstmonceux Parish Trail that featured four gardens. All gardens are well marked with several bright yellow balloons and a bright yellow sign as well. Most of the time you can tell you are close to a garden because of the number of cars parked in the lane. On this particular tour there were also balloons and signs posted at different turns on the narrow roads, because some of them looked more like farm lanes and could easily be missed, or as I often say, “are you sure we are on the right road, we are in the middle of nowhere!” But, the middle of nowhere has some very beautiful gardens!
After we left Cowbeech House we were yellow-balloon directed to a cottage called “Montana.” “Montana” wasn’t in my guide book as a garden on the Herstmonceux Parish Trail list of gardens. So here is the explanation why.
The gardeners at “Montana” travel a lot. For the National Garden Scheme, one must commit at least a year in advance to open their garden on a certain date. “Montana” had never opened their garden because they couldn’t commit so far in advance. This seemed like a real shame to one of their neighbors, because she felt their garden was a must-see. So when it came time for the garden tour and she realized the “Montana” gardeners would be home and available, she moved the sign from her garden to theirs!
So we are visiting “Montana” today and it is a first timer! Aren’t we lucky! Enjoy the garden!
These gardeners drew your eye up with many features hidden in trees and hanging on forlorn branches!
No garden is complete without a retreat! This garden was very deep and wide with many different gardens within the garden! There was so much to see at “Montana” I’ll show you more tomorrow!