Tombrick Garden hasn’t opened as regularly as previously in the last few years so when it opened today – a charity event – it came as no surprise that it attracted a big attendance; well, actually, a huge attendance. There was virtually a small army of helpers in attendance to guide cars to and from parking and another team to serve teas and cakes – all very delicious and welcome on a wonderful afternoon.
Tombrick is Walter Kelly’s garden and is probably the very best garden in which to see plants well grown. Hostas here are simply exuberantly huge and healthy while Myosotidiums and Rodgersias simply loom above them, bursting with vitality. Of course, Walter has that most enviable advantage of bring a farmer with unlimited access to manure which he spread liberally on the garden and the plants certainly show the benefit.
Walter’s garden is in the cottage garden style, informal, crammed with wonderful plants and designed to accommodate his collection of ornamental fowl to there are fenced-in enclosures, running streams and a duck pond along with the necessary housing that these birds need and all this is done in a manner which doesn’t impede on the functioning of a beautiful ornamental garden.
Chatting with Walter reveals further his cottage garden approach as he will tell he got this plant as a cutting from such a friend and another as gift from someone, or that he picked up as an exchange at the local garden club – where he has been a very active member of committee for many years. This is a plant collection put together over years, each plant with its story and the added value of that background.
It was wonderful to walk around Walter’s garden again, to enjoy such well-grown and beautiful plants and the fabulous atmosphere that one finds in a garden designed with love, skill and devotion over so many years.