Open Gardens Archive

2015

All Saints Church second Open Gardens event took place on June 20th. 19 gardens were open, some for the first time. The weather forecast had been horrendous, predicting heavy rain all afternoon and we were a a little depressed to think everyone’s efforts had been in vain. But 12.30pm came and it did not rain. There was no wind and it was pleasantly warm. And it stayed like that until around 4pm when prayers and crossed fingers could no longer hold it back! It didn’t matter to some hardy gardeners anyway but many took refuge in the Village Hall, where an astonishing £450 was taken. A few less tickets were sold than last time – about 180 – but we guess the forecast put some people off. Moving the refreshments and plant stall to the Village Hall brought a bonus to the good folk at the Drinkstone Green end of the village, who had many more visitors this time. Once again, the plant stall was hugely popular and created an arresting sight under its bright red canopy as you drove into the hall car park.

The stars were the gardens – and this time the roses were blooming their socks off. Illness beset some of our gardeners but like troopers, they called in reinforcements to show people round. As one said, “I’ve been weeding and hoeing for weeks; my garden WILL be open!”

Thanks to some last minute donations, an amazing total of over £1,200 was reached. We couldn’t have done it without all those who opened their gardens, served refreshments, sold tickets, made cakes, donated plants, helped on the day or visited – so thank you all!

These are the gardens that were open. Some photos. Lots of gardens here – and the after event party. Do look at the last four photos in the set, taken over a period of 90 minutes in Fieldfare, showing a dragonfly larva climbing out of the pond and gradually releasing the dragonfly within.

 Ambers

Drinkstone Bed and Breakfast. A garden of mature trees, extensive shrubberies, herbaceous borders, and an ornamental pond with rose arch leading to the house. A natural garden, with wildlife pond and waterfall. The remains of the historic ha-ha can still be seen with views across the open countryside.  An orchard and vegetable garden with a large poly and shade tunnel. The garden is also now open for the NGS.

 Little Court

A landscaped garden within and without the walls of the original Drinkstone House. The grave of Joshua Grigsby sits beneath an ancient mulberry tree. Some of the original nineteenth century planting survives with a magnificent wellingtonia, a monkey puzzle and a giant redwood.  

 The Meade

Large garden with a wide range of plants for all seasons. Walled garden, mixed borders, small alpine garden, paddock with trees (many grown from seed). No vegetables – too many rabbits and deer to feed.  Small ornamental pond and field pond—still drier than it should be!  

 Whispering Winds

A country garden including a topiary teapot and lots of roses. In the words of our 6 year old granddaughter: “A pretty, happy, fun and a bit flowery garden!”

Kimberly

Semi-formal garden for plant lovers, with a pond. (The National Gardens Scheme wanted this lovely garden to be part of their Open Gardens but invitation was declined)  

 Home Farm

Panoramic parkland style garden, surrounding a beautiful 17th century house, with orchard, pool and pool house, makes for a real family garden. Has great countryside views with not another house in sight.

 Kingfishers

Large, mature garden overlooking open countryside. It comprises mainly herbaceous plants, shrubs and roses, and enough trees to attract most forms of wildlife. No parking at the house.

 2 Chapel Lane

Medium sized garden, in need of serious attention and alterations, taken over three years ago. Work still in progress, but expect to see lots of roses and summer colour.

 Glenrose

A small cottage garden, newly established over the last two years. The different levels giving many challenges, includes raised beds, a bank and herbaceous borders as well as two patio areas with planted tubs and pots.

 1 Cherry Tree Rise

A brand new garden planted from December 2014, designed to incorporate all our favourite fruit and flowers.

Espaliered and fan trained fruit on fencing. Agapanthus, Hollyhocks and other shrubs transplanted from previous house in Cambridge. New shrubs and perennials selected for location. Everything in its infancy but growing steadily.

 11 Drinkstone Green Close

Totally organic garden. Lawn, bordered by herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees for year round colour, with a splash of colour in patio pots and baskets. Vegetable garden which includes a patch for bees, butterflies and – and caterpillars! Compost is made from kitchen waste, using bins and trenches, which double as drainage ditches. Look out for the fantasy clay castles amongst the undergrowth!

 Brookside

Informal garden sheltered by mature trees and shrubs. Includes part of a wildlife pond, overlooked by large decking area. Mixture of open, sunny mixed borders and shady areas. Kitchen garden with raised beds. Wildlife friendly.

 Cranbrook

South facing garden immaculately planted by the original owners. Many plants remain, such as the spectacular wisteria trained across the back of the house. It is hard work to keep it as they intended, but we battle on with the challenge of renewing planting and keeping it in good order! 

 Woodside

A quarter acre garden half of which is made up of acid soil. Thus, mature Camellias and Rhododendrons thrive. Plus, a very large evergreen Eucryphia tree from Chile holds pride of place. The garden was originally planted over 60 years ago by a real plant enthusiast.  

 1 Farm Close

Garden is divided into three distinct areas: a)formal garden with pergola and rill meandering down towards the house; raised herb garden to side of house; b) paddock area with fruit trees: c) vegetable garden concealed behind a beech hedge.

 3 Farm Close

Informal, sunny cottage garden, with naturalised, deep pond. Swimming not recommended!

 Kopsey Cottage

Thatched cottage with garden to match, Hopefully, the roses will be blooming. Small pond, a well and a greenhouse. Plus, an  ‘Observation beehive’ and honey from Drinkstone bees will be on sale.

 Fieldfare

Medium sized open plan south facing garden. Always a work in progress! Wildlife pond (fenced in), chickens, small kitchen garden, greenhouse and patio areas. All areas accessible for wheelchairs.

 Holm House

New owners here  inherited a beautiful garden, which we plan to enhance. In front of the house and round to the right hand side is lawn with formal topiary and some special shrubs. To the back of the house is a herb garden, which follows on round to a woodland walk, leading to a small sheltered garden with greenhouse and bee hives. This is enclosed by a tall hedge on one side and swimming pool on the other. On the far side of the swimming pool is a very mature olive tree.

2013

See a selection of photos here

The gardeners of Drinkstone rose to the challenge and for months had been weeding, sowing, planting and mulching with a vengeance. In a number of gardens, if you stood still long enough you would have probably been jet washed along with the paths, decking and furniture. And despite the coldest spring for 50 years making everything late, despite the lack of roses, despite the downpour in the middle of the afternoon, despite the innumerable other local events going on—somehow it all came together.

Illness and an awful spring caused  a couple to drop out, leaving us with 20 gardens to visit – a truly diverse selection from small cottage gardens to sweeping vistas and landscaped grounds surrounding large properties. The two gardens are set in the historic surroundings of Drinkstone Park were exceptionally popular, but all were beautiful.

It was a hugely successful event in terms of bonhomie as well as finance. Over 200 paying customers came through Drinkstone and with all the refreshment stops, plants on sale and donations, we raised around £1,100. 2013

Ambers

A garden of mature trees, extensive shrubberies, herbaceous borders, and an ornamental pond with rose arch leading to the house. A natural garden, with wildlife pond and waterfall. The remains of the historic ha-ha can still be seen with views across the open countryside.  An orchard and vegetable garden with a large poly tunnel, also an apiary.

Little Court

A landscaped garden within and without the walls of the original Drinkstone House. The grave of Joshua Grigsby sits beneath an ancient mulberry tree. Some of the original nineteenth century planting survives with a magnificent wellingtonia, a monkey puzzle and a giant redwood.

The Meade

Large garden with a wide range of plants for all seasons. Walled garden, mixed borders, small alpine garden, paddock with trees (many grown from seed). No vegetables – too many rabbits and deer to feed.

Small ornamental pond and field pond (dry for the first time in years despite all the rain).

Whispering Winds

A curious garden in a curious county! A country garden with lots of roses. There are two small ponds.

Kimberley

Semi-formal garden, a garden for plant lovers, with a pond. (Pond is being renewed and may still be a work in progress!)

 Dene Cottage

Sloping garden with a south facing aspect. The slope is accommodated by having three distinct garden areas, divided by mature trees and shrubs, with a patio/seating area on each level.

 Kingfishers

A large, mature garden overlooking open countryside. It comprises mainly herbaceous plants, shrubs and roses, and enough trees to attract most forms of wildlife.

 Sadolins

Modern (1970’s) garden, much improved by owners. Large borders, mature trees and small vegetable plot. Garden overlooks countryside.

Drinkstone Lodge

A large family garden with herbaceous borders, wooded areas, and orchard. Plenty of areas to encourage wildlife and much frequented by a great variety of birds. Extensive vegetable area to supply house throughout the year. Two large ponds, garden surrounded by fields.

 Elm Tree Cottage

Classic cottage/woodland garden, whose rate of growth comfortably exceeds the proprietors’ capacity to deal with it. Small pond.

Chesil Cottage

Fairly small and secluded garden, completely redesigned and replanted in 2006 and is still a work in progress.

Longbourn

Medium sized garden with herbaceous and shrub borders, newly planted 2006.

 Cranbrook

South facing garden planted in the 60’s/70’s, which was the ‘life work’ of the original owners, and as a consequence, apparently always immaculate. Some of the original plants have been lost to the elements, but others remain, such as the spectacular wisteria trained across the back of the house. Seldom immaculate these days, but we thoroughly enjoy the challenge of keeping it in order!

1 Farm Close

Garden is divided into three distinct areas: a) formal garden with pergola and rill meandering down towards the house; raised herb garden to side of house; b) paddock area with fruit trees: c) vegetable garden concealed behind a beech hedge.

2 Farm Close

Large well stocked pond in the centre of the garden, surrounded by lawn and themed borders – woodland & spring, grasses for autumn, hot and cool coloured borders for summer. Summerhouse, pergolas and several sitting areas. Challenging clay and north east aspect!

3 Farm Close

Informal, sunny cottage garden, with naturalised, deep pond. Swimming not recommended!

 Kopsey Cottage

Thatched cottage with garden to match, Hopefully, the roses will be blooming. Small pond, a well and a greenhouse.

 Four year old cottage style garden, with well and two old yew trees. Adjacent field with young fruit trees, pond and recently planted mixed native hedge on two sides. A work in progress!

The Chestnuts

Shrub and flower garden with vegetable parterre. Large Suffolk moat with natural area. Lots of birds and bees.

Green End

Large, beautiful, informal and unruly garden – somehow thrives despite being often left to its own devices – with lovely borders, trees and a stunning view right across to Gedding and Felsham.