The Gardens

Here you will find a list of the gardens taking part in Blackfordby Open Gardens 2022 on the weekend of 25-26 June, with a brief description of what you will find there. This is our suggested order, but you are free to visit in any order you choose.

The gardens will be open between 11 am and 4 pm. Please note that all the gardens are open on both days except for No.13, which is only open on Saturday.

Also note that some gardens have restricted access and no car parking, so for those driving it is advisable to park at the main football field, off Main Street.

You can download the Open Gardens Map here.

1  1 Butt Lane

Large, mature corner plot enclosed by a tall hawthorn hedge. The rear garden has been created with ecology in mind using ‘bee friendly’ plants being woven into the planting scheme which is mainly cottage garden style.

There’s a nature area for wildlife including a mini bug hotel. Hedgehogs, toads and squirrels are often found in this garden.

Two feature mature trees serve as a backdrop – a beautiful copper beech and a magnificent weeping willow, both over sixty years old.

Elsewhere you’ll find an outdoor grapevine, blackcurrants, pear and apple trees, with a wild rose rambling through their branches. New this year is the fruit garden where raspberries, blackcurrants, a thornless blackberry, gooseberries and a cherry tree have been planted.

There are raised beds containing lavender and Honeybells for the bees.

Look out for Welsh cakes on sale and some classic cars displayed for the motor heads… and say hello to Nelly the rabbit!

2   15 Strawberry Lane

Small but perfectly formed cottage-style garden with Lupins, Buddleia, hardy perennial Cranebills, Hostas, Roses and specimen Acer trees.

There are also Geraniums and bedding plants as well as Dalmatian Foxgloves and outdoor Fuchsias.

Did you know: Butterfly Bush Buddleia is a thankful summer bloomer, which grows as a shrub or half shrub, but less often, even rarely, as a tree or vine.

3  16 Elstead Lane (Little Corner of England)

Corner plot, initially noticeable for its raised flagpole and almost certainly an amusing scarecrow on the front lawn!

A highly organised, tidy garden to the front and rear where you will find hanging baskets, Honeysuckle, raised veg bed, homegrown Geraniums, Lupins and Poppies.

Did you know? Poppies are frequently thought of as weeds by farmers, but nonetheless welcome ones as they prove
the soil is fertile.

4  6 Church Close

Neat village garden with a frog-friendly pond, herbaceous plants, shrubs and rockery.

Of special interest is the garden door to nowhere, various gargoyles, Hawthorns, Dwarf Lilac, Peonies, Camellia baby Crab Apple and various Acer trees to back and front.

Also notice, in the rear garden, the special 20-year-old “cloud tree”, a specimen miniature conifer, being developed by the owner who has been weighing down the branches and carefully cutting back the foliage.

Cloud pruning is a Japanese method of training trees into shapes resembling clouds. It is known as Niwaki, the literal translation of which is simply “garden tree”.

There will also be a plant sale this year.

5  Oak Cottage, off Well Lane

Blackfordby’s “hidden” listed thatched cottage, itself more than 300 years old, set in 3.7 acres of paddocks, front and rear gardens, all open for the weekend.

Featuring an allotment area (for those venturing to the very top of the paddock), newly planted orchard, chicken run, large kitchen garden and part-lawned cottage gardens back and front.

There’s a large selection of mature Magnolia trees, Wisterias, many large specimen trees (including English and American oaks, Spindle and Judas trees), several ponds, a waterfall and an old well (newly restored).

There is a wide range of Fuchsias grown for showing at several Fuchsia Society shows throughout the Midlands.

Roses and Peonies are a particular feature of this cottage garden at this time of the year. An Auricular Theatre will have a display at the side of the cottage, courtesy of village woodworker extraordinaire Stephen Sinfield.

A variety of plants for sale.

Please note: car parking is only available here for people with mobility issues.

6  New Woodland, off Oak Cottage, Well Lane

Oak Cottage’s lower paddock was planted out as new woodland in 2017. More than 80 trees were planted by the children of Blackfordby Primary School, with other new trees dedicated to children since.

In total, some 450 native saplings were planted here by the National Forest, including English Oaks, Silver Birch, Mountain Ash, Field Maple, Sweet Chestnut, Sweet Cherry and Scots Pine.

Please beware of the active bee hives, badger sett and deep water at the base of this paddock.

7  Church View, 1 Main Street

Whenever a gardener says “it’s work in progress”, what this often means is that a great deal of progress has already been made and ordinary gardeners among us can clearly see where it is heading.

Church View garden is no exception. The owner started from scratch and already accomplished much, having established Mock Orange, Jasmine, Honeysuckle and mature Beech hedge.

Raised beds are coming along nicely and there’s also Clematis and (in the small frontage) an existing Magnolia tree to be found. Potatoes, runner beans, onion sets, radish and tomatoes are grown outside in the raised beds.

There is no better view of St Margaret’s Church from anywhere else in Blackfordby, hence the house name. Freshly baked scones, Meringues, tea and fruit cakes are for sale here for charity and have become the stuff of local legend.

Note: Please beware of the quite steep foot access from The Black Lion pub up Main Street, where there is no pavement and vehicles can arrive quite quickly coming down the hill.

8  17 Briar Close

With a lovely aspect to farmer’s fields and the National Forest beyond, the rear garden has an emphasis on colour with a mixed border variety of Phlox, Roses, Peonies, Clematis, Alliums and Hydrangeas.

The kitchen section includes Sage, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Balm and Rhubarb.

Lovely, manicured lawn surrounded by Laurel and Beech hedges. To the front are tidy raised beds, all ready for some seasonal planting.

Did you know? Phlox prospers in a cool but sunny climate in well-watered, rich sweet soil. They thrive in full sun though partial shade is fine as long as the plants get at least six hours of direct sun. A little like the author of this programme!

9  2 Sandtop Close

Pretty village garden whose owner had quite a job years ago as the remains of an older home, long since demolished, were evident before the garden was created.

Topsoil was imported with the result that today’s garden is well-drained, transformed and planted in pockets around a newly replanted central Lavender bed and red and pink flowering Rambling Roses (Alexander Dumas and Paul’s Himalayan Musk) adorning a lovely long pergola.

Take a seat here if you’ve time to the sound of a quirky homemade water feature and soak in the quiet beauty of this lovely rear garden.

10  1 South Close – access at the side off Main Street (New for 2022)

A veritable herb garden with the accent on plants you can eat, simply smell or use for medicinal purposes.

Almost every kind of herb imaginable, including Chives, Tarragon, Oregano, Sage, Angelica, Parsley, Rosemary…. the list goes on.

Among the scented herbs you will find Fennel, Marigold, Sweet Rocket, Pink Clove and Blackcurrant Sage, which has a lovely scent in flower.

But it doesn’t end there. In the medicinal section, you will find Comfrey, perennial Lady’s Mantle, Yarrow, Jacob’s Ladder, Marshmallow plant and St John’s Wort. Tidy raised beds contain onions, garlic, carrots, turnips and peas.

Beyond the mature weeping Birch tree and wild area at the front there is a lovely Shade Garden.

Did you know: The fluffy confection you either love or hate, got its name from the Marshmallow plant?

11  5 South Close (New for 2022)

Here’s a South facing garden with “a bit of everything”, cleverly designed on a geometric pattern but in the style of a cottage garden.

Wherever you go, it’s interesting just to look around to see it from a different perspective.

Here you will find an attractive water feature with a bridge in the centre, and with plenty of professional thought having gone into planting the likes of Cornus Dogwoods, False Castor Oil Plant, Magnolia, Libertia, Iris, Hydrangea, Roses, Peony, Dahlias and Gladiolus.

Mature Rowan, Holly and Apple trees provide plenty of shade.

12  22 North Close (New for 2022)

Ever wondered how to grow plants from cuttings? Welcome to the Cutting Garden.

For those just starting out on the rollercoaster ride that is the heady world of cut flower growing, it’s important to choose the right flowers at the outset.

You would do well to take a leaf out of the techniques used in this rear garden, jam-packed with hardy annual and perennial flowers by a family that loves gardening.

Here you should find Poppies, Larkspur (with their wonderful spires), Snapdragons, Nigella and Cornflowers thriving in a South facing garden, plus delightful Dahlias and Roses.

And then there are the Sweet Peas. We think people who don’t like Sweet Peas might be wired up wrong. They’re usually quite easy to grow and, of course, they have a delightful scent.

Did you know? Love-in-a-mist (Nigella) is a pretty and easy-to-grow hardy annual flower that originates from the Mediterranean and North Africa.

13  12 Winfield Way (open Saturday only) (New for 2022)

It’s been 18 months since the new Spire’s View estate was completed in Blackfordby, but already the busy gardeners there are making a welcome impact.

Here is a perfect example of what can be achieved in such a short time and with a completely blank slate.

In this new bee and butterfly-friendly rear garden, you will find Honeysuckle, Lilac, Hollyhocks, Cosmos, Hostas, Sweet Peas and Foxgloves as well as a Passion Flower climber. While to the front there’s a Red Robin tree, Pyracantha, Lavender and Mock Orange.

Did you know: Passion flowers have the most incredible flowers from July to October, usually followed by edible, but not particularly tasty, egg-shaped fruits.

14  The Oaks, 114A Butt Lane (New for 2022)
(either a ten-minute walk over the roundabout or a very short drive at the end of your day)

Beautifully laid out rear garden, illustrating perfectly just what can be achieved in just 18 months of occupancy having inherited
a once overgrown large plot.

Much has been changed or removed, but every tree that was taken out has been replaced with another, including some specimen trees such as the Sunburst, one of our most popular yellow-leaved ornamentals.

There are also mature Apple Trees, plus Roses, Geraniums, Lavender, and hardy fuchsias with Camellia and Rhododendron on the “Abbey Road” patio.

In recognition of your making a special effort to visit, tea and cakes may be available in the patio area.

Recommended Route(s)

The open gardens in Blackfordby are spread far and wide so it is advisable to follow our recommended route on foot, having parked if necessary on the football field which will be clearly signposted off Main Street.

About Blackfordby

Find out more about our village.

Find us on the Open Gardens National Directory.