When it’s warm, not hot, when the scent from plants wafts gently in the air. Then it’s time to visit the Dorothy Clive Garden in Staffordshire. It’s on the border of Shropshire and Cheshire. As you look down from the tea rooms you can look down over the three counties. It’s pleasant to sit out on the lawn with sandwiches and a cup of tea or scones and jam and cream. I’m imagining that I’m there now. That the cold chill in our living room is actually a gentle breeze blowing over the hill behind us and cooling me down! I might even indulge in an ice cream from the tea room. We would definitely be buying plants to take back to our garden.
The Dorothy Clive Garden was created in memory of her. It is built mainly on a slope with perennial plants in beds around beautiful and unusual trees. Some of the plant combinations are spectacular. There is also a quarry garden filled with trees and rhododendron bushes in glorious flower in the spring. There is a lovely view of a waterfall in the bowl of the quarry garden. Then an extended area of the gardens with drought resistant planting and a laburnum walk under planted with purple Alliums rings the changes. This year we also visited a hothouse with tropical plants at the lower part of the garden. It’s a good place to visit on a summers day.
The Dorothy Clive Garden is at Willowbridge in Staffordshire on the border with Shropshire and Cheshire. It costs £10 for adults to visit.
At this time of year the garden is coming into bloom. It is planted on a sloping site and the main garden is full of blues, whites and purples at the moment. White and purple Alliums, Aqueigia, Irises, and other plants made a lovely display from the pond at the bottom up to the tearooms at the top. Then into the quarry garden. This is full of rhododendron and azalea flowers, the mature trees are in leaf and the waterfall drops from the rim of the quarry into its base.
We also walked along the Laburnum arch which is in full flower and is under planted with purple Alliums. Then there are ferns and lots of other interesting plants. We’ll worth a visit for the day.
Rode Hall is a small stately home on the borders of Staffordshire and Cheshire. It’s on a lane running between two major roads, one of which is the A34, which is in England.
Each year they hold a Snowdrop walk at about this time. The weather today was cold, crisp and bright. The various varieties of snowdrops glowed in the sunshine.
We had a very pleasant walk along a pathway to a lake in the grounds below the hall. Then back along the path a short way and up the small hills around the grounds of the hall. Finally we visited the walled kitchen garden with glass houses full of award winning vegetables.
I took lots of photos and I will post more on other blog posts. It wasn’t expensive. The only thing was there was a massive queue for the tea room but we ended going off and getting refreshments at a local church.
Any drive out towards Chester means a stop off at Snugburys Ice Cream centre. It’s a lovely little group of farm buildings set back off the A51 in Cheshire. We stopped to also check about the Road Closed signs we had seen along the road. We had a couple of delicious ice creams and found out that there was a diversion up ahead that would take us down a tiny narrow lane for a couple of miles
The only fly in the ointment was that when we sat down to eat the ice cream in a lovely sunny patch by some hanging baskets of flowers the wasps arrived. I made a swift retreat round the corner to a shady spot but hubby was fine.
We did take the detour, it was long and very narrow, unsuitable for HGVs but we arrived safely.
Four sketches I did at the Dorothy Clive Garden. The view from the hill it’s on over to Shropshire and Cheshire. The Quarry garden with the waterfall. Sculpted woodpecker in the bark of a tree stump and my hubby sitting in the cafe garden.
I was pleased to find this picture of the Jodrell Bank Observatory in my Facebook memories recently. I think it’s from about 2012.
Jodrell Bank radio telescope was built on the Cheshire plain in the 1950’s near Holmes Chapel. It was built there because it was far enough away from the radio noise given out by big cities like Manchester and Liverpool.
The radio telescope is a large dish shaped telescope, supported by a massive superstructure. Part of it was made from two gun turrets from world war two battleships that act as the pivots for it. The dish can rotate around its axis and from horizontal to vertical so it can scan most of the northern hemisphere.
It’s worth a visit for the day (covid safely). There is an arboretum, the radio telescope, a discovery centre and other interesting exhibits. Check their website for details at https://www.jodrellbank.net
Experiment with paint and ink. The first painting was from a photo, the second one was extrapolated from the first. Both college work. Its fun trying different mark making and adjusting colours and hues to create different atmospheres in a piece of art. Mow Cop is a folly (pretend castle) sitting on a hill overlooking Cheshire and Staffordshire
This was taken about this time last year. We had driven out to visit the beautiful garden on the border of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire.
The garden is in a steep slope with colourful flower borders filling the air with scents of summer. But before the summer show I am drawn to the quarry garden at the top of the site. This is filled with flowering rhododendrons, under planted with spring flowers such as bluebells. At its centre is a little dell where a waterfall cascades down into a tranquil pool. You can follow paths up to the top of the waterfall where you will find a full sized bronze stag sculpture looking out magestically over the quarry garden.
Other pleasures include a magnolia walk at the back of the garden, this is behind the quarry at the top of the slope. Here you can see the surrounding countryside.
There is another dry garden, with a laburnum walk arching over the path.
When lockdown ends I think this will be one of the first places I visit.
Just had an email from the Dorothy Clive Garden, explaining that they are closing due to government advice.
It’s a lovely place on the border with Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. It is a magical garden on a steep slope. If you get a chance when things have calmed down do go.
This is what I wrote back to them…
We visit to come and see the wonderful rhododendrons in the quarry garden every year, and have been enjoying watching the ecology section being created. Then the rest of it is just wonderful when it’s in full bloom. I love sitting outside the cafe and drawing the view, or walking down the steep slope towards the pond. Watching goldfish as they quietly go about their lives under the surface.
Ive been visiting over several years. When I was fit I used to cycle over with my husband.
I have a very overgrown small garden with lots of trees, but we have some amazing geraniums that have spread everywhere. We got them from you a few years ago.
Hoping for a speedy resolution to the current situation.