Ive never managed to be around for any of the Open Days that they have held at Thornbridge Hall, (near Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire) and its one of those places that I have always wanted to see more of. The hall is privately owned by Emma Harrison - local Entrepeneur and "Secret Millionaire" and when I read that the gardens were open today under the National Garden Schemes, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to visit.
I have to say that the gardens were really surprising. I didn't expect them to be as stunning as they were - my photos cannot do justice to them.
There are delights at every turn - but even though it is all really grand, it looks totally lived in and very used.
Some of the features in the gardens were bought when other local stately homes fell into decline. A couple of the fountains, and this stunning temple were from Clumber Park.
I wish you could smell these sweet peas - there were lots of beautiful sweet pea wigwams dotted around.
The Potager gardens were stunning - they were in a splendid very sunny spot and I spotted lots of produce being grown very succesfully.
This chap seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders!
The borders were all stunning. They had a great sunny and hot day for the Open Day. I got a lot of inspiration for my own pocket hankerchief sized plot.
One of my favourite parts of the garden was the relatively new Orangery (seen here from the coach house where delicious sandwiches, cakes and beveridges were being served).
Emma appears to live with her extended family and a few friends. The house and gardens look as if at any given time, they can - and do - turn into Party Central. The Orangery had lots of places to sit and dine.
In fact they had built a kitchen into one end of the Orangery so that they could cook down here - away from the house - straight from the garden. Behind the (fabulously Farrow and Ball painted) brick wall, was the old potting sheds. Now turned into a Micro Brewery!!! A great addition to a party house - and we tested the beer ! It was really really good. The lovely pained units were full of mismatched china. I loved it all!
Emma is also growing 2 Lemon tree's just outside of the doors - handy for her G&T's!
We also passed a new part of the hall that the family has built - a fab swimming pool.. So I came home wanting to completely redo my garden - to incorporate an Orangery, Swimming Pool, Pottager, Brewery and some new plants. The hall also has a underground Bar, Gymnasium, Ballrom and lots more stunning features. I really loved it all. Hubby is slightly alarmed at the number of projects I formulated in my head whilst walking round!
Then on our way out - something strange happened. We passed a young couple - and even though I knew I didn't know them - I thought they looked familiar. I mentioned to hubby that I thought that I recognised the young lady as a blogger that I regularly leave comments for - and she for me. He told me to ask her, but I daren't in case I was wrong. Then we bumped into them again around the corner - and she said "Hello - youre Diane aren't you"
It was Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling, (and Dave - her other half). It was lovely to stop and have a chat with them - such a small world.