A garden is a great place to unwind and de-stress, so when in need of a day out this past Wednesday I took a look at the National Garden Scheme website to see what gardens were open. I discovered Ivy Croft, described as “a maturing rural garden with areas of meadow, wood and orchard, blending with the countryside and providing habitat for wildlife”. Perfect!
We pre-booked our tickets via the website (a must these days with COVID-19 restrictions) and we were on our way. Ivy Croft was just over an hour’s drive from home and across the border in Herefordshire. We found Ivy Croft down a country lane (which, to be honest, is where you usually find these open gardens!).
When we arrived we discovered we had the garden to ourselves as nobody else had booked that afternoon. Roger, the owner, gave us a brief introduction to the garden and let us explore at our own leisure.
First, we headed to the garden surrounding the cottage. Almost immediately, I spotted a dragonfly (which I think is a male Southern Hawker). Bees and butterflies were fluttering and buzzing about too. I loved how the cottage garden was split into sections and each one was different.
We found another enclosed garden area with a wide range of plants, vegetables and an abundance of apples. As always, my attention was drawn to the array of dahlias around the garden. Again, bees and butterflies were enjoying this part of the garden as much as I was.
It was a joy to walk through the meadow and orchard in the September sun. In one corner we found a wild area, left to attract wildlife, no doubt. In another area, we found my Dad sitting beneath a tree, enjoying the view. Whenever I take my parents to an open garden, Dad often wanders off on his own and can usually be found relaxing on a bench somewhere.
The trees in the orchard held copious amounts of apples just waiting to be picked. Amongst the apple trees, some chickens pottered around their pen, shaded from the heat. They were a little camera shy though.
Back in the nursery area, we ended up buying some dahlias. That’s another thing I love at NGS open gardens, you just never know what plants you might find for sale.
Ivy Croft is open again on Wednesday 23rd September and Wednesday 30th September, but remember to pre-book on the NGS website if you’re thinking of visiting.
Ivy Croft, Ivington Green, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0JN