(NB You can clic on the pictures to enlarge them in case you didn't know.)
The Sock visited Hidcote at the weekend and was expecting some rather pretty Beardshaw borders and Cotswold cottage-style planting. It therefore came as a total revelation to find her socks completely blown off by it!!
The Sock has never fallen so deeply for a garden. It led in a series of rooms from one cacophony of colour to another explosion of form and texture, from a room of cool peace and tranquility to a vibrant hotbed of raucous reds. Yet none of it jarred the senses - just stimulated and excited.
So here is the Sock's tour of the gardens. Mind the gap of plant names - the Sock knows what she likes not always what it's called.
So first room out of the house is a charming courtyard in pinks, silvers, purples which is exactly what you are expecting - so far so predictable.
But then the next room looks like a load of plants have been thrown upwards by an earthquake in a melange of textures and shapes that shouldn't work together but somehow do. The excitement is already bubbling under
Onwards into another room with my absolute favourite planting. The combination of some sort of globe thistles and holodiscus discolor (?) looked like some futuristic city spires against fluffy white clouds
A lovely soft summery planting with the versatile verbena boniarensis
Thistles seemed to be a common theme here as well as being prominent at the Hampton Court show this year. What was billed as 'The rose walk' appeared to have been denuded of roses and replaced with eryngiums creating a silvery glow down each side of the path. A brave and interesting plant scheme. The Sock had been wondering where to plant the eryngium "Jos Eijking" she bought at Hampton Court and now feels inspired to fuse it into a border position previously discounted as the spikeyness seemed wrong.
The eryngiums were attracting lots of happy bees too
Another room - another change in concept and colour - a lush green oasis filled with texture
A bold and in your face yellow garden
A shady woodland area filled with drifts of astrantia and in the background a red lily(?). So unexpected and lit by a shaft of sunlight filtering through the branches of the tree above. As usual the ONE photo that you really, really want to work turned out badly despite several attempts with different camera settings (there is a limit to how long you can hold up the people behind on narrow pathways). It's been included anyway just to give an idea of something the Sock found totally exquisite..
Just as you are thinking that you must surely be satiated already and nothing else will pique your appetite you hit the long red border
As you leave the heat of the red borders to enter a cool ceanothus blue garden you espy a reminder that you are due to go back to the hotel for tea on the lawn. Egg sandwiches with the crusts cut off, toasted tea-bread, two different sorts of scones with clotted cream and jam and three different types of cake!
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