A damp squib of a day really but as I only had one day free, that day it had to be. I have been to Wollerton Old Hall a few times, friends live 15 minutes along the A57 so it’s an easy place to find and visit.

The car park was busy even though I arrived half an hour before opening, noon to 5pm daily in the season. Many of us rugging up against the foul weather and none of us seemingly put off by it. I love this about gardeners, determined, weather never usually an obstacle, good boots, solid waterproofs and hats or brollies.

Once in the garden the first and a favorite sight is the swathe of hollyhocks hugging the barn to the left. Stooping and swaying but each touched with watery jewels. Note to self: grow more hollyhocks.

I resisted an early coffee stop and plodded into the more formal section of the garden, close to the house. Long views, thoughtful views that frame sections of the garden in different away making it feel much bigger than it is. A spaced paving with camomile creeping between, formal and informal jostling together. An allee of trees pointing into the gardens but when you turn around 180 degrees it’s also framing a large urn and pots crammed with annuals just outside the house. Hedges clipped fat and thin stage the garden planting expertly.

The froth of herbaceous borders countered by the rich deep hues of the hot garden and then more froth and vintage feel in the long summer house(?), shame about the silk flowers!

I’ve found that taking one turn is not enough so after two turns and a swift cuppa and cake I took a third turn focusing on the flowers in great detail. Despite being wet, it was busy, down I suspect to the plug from Gardener’s World a few weeks back but also no doubt due to it’s hidden gem quality and remarkable depth of interest. I was there for 3 hours including coffee time and escaped with only 3 plants from the nicely stock plant sales area.

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