Discover the Secret Gardens

This itinerary includes a local garden expert who will provide you with some great knowledge and help you explore some amazing hidden gems in the area…
DAY ONE
stockton_bury_gardens_f26aa27c350da301853e1dffe4f482e6Head to the 4-acres of Stockton Bury Gardens and you’ll be greeted by impressive collections of plants, many rare and unusual that thrive on the heavy clay soil.
The garden, set amongst medieval farm buildings, offers a working kitchen garden, pigeon house, tithe barn (which is now a restaurant) grotto, cider press, pools, mock ruined chapel and a rill. Stockton Bury is a home and mixed farm and has been developed over the last 30 years into one of the UK’s best-loved gardens.
This unique and well-crafted plantsman’s garden not only boasts plenty of all year-round interest and striking plant combinations but has views over the unspoilt surrounding countryside.
Westonbury MillNext head to a modern garden in a lovely setting near the ‘Black and White’ village of Pembridge. Westonbury Mill Garden stretches over three acres, enclosing an area of streams and small ponds, offering wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. Special features include bog plants and plants that thrive in a moist environment. Walk through a miniature forest of giant gunnera, or enjoy the wildflower meadow. Within the garden is a stone tower decorated with gargoyles, who spout water from their mouths. There is an African style summer house for relaxing and surprised around every corner of the three acre garden.
DAY TWO
The eight acres of Brobury House Gardens are set against a sculptural backdrop of mature trees on a particularly beautiful section of the River Wye. Paths lead through formal and natural planting to the watermeadow beside the historic Bredwardine Bridge. The garden was first established when the house was built in 1881. The trees and terraces gave the structure to the gardens that still exists. Grand greenhouses were built and half of these have been restored. Prior to 1881 the site was used as the vegetable garden for the rectory where Francis Kilvert lived and died. His mulberry tree still graces the main terrace lawn.
Plants of note – Wisteria, cornus kousa, stand of paper birches. Magnificent oak and Victorian cedars and pines.
For lunch head to Oakchurch Farm Shop with a restaurant that utilising the best of Herefordshire’s finest produce including roast Herefordshire beef and homemade cakes. You could even try a local cider! There will also be opportunity to buy any plants that catch your eye.
Weir-GardenNext stop is Herefordshire’s best National Trust Garden, The Weir. The Weir was established in the 1920s by Roger Parr and his head gardener, Boulter. It covers around 10 acres of sloping land along the River Wye, with excellent views to the Black Mountains of Wales. The garden is at its best from early Spring to Autumn, when the colours at their peak. The Weir definitely qualifies as a hidden gem.
DAY THREE
Today we visit yet another gem, hidden within a major attraction, Hereford Cathedral. Explore the cathedral’s most beautiful gardens with their experienced gardeners and guides. Throughout the year from Spring to Autumn, Hereford’s horticultural significance is well reflected in these award winning gardens.
Free time has been allocated to explore the Cathedral city. With its many attractions, restaurants, cafes and river walks, you will be spoilt for choice.
After lunch, head south to visit the largest private formal garden to be created in England since 1945 owned by art historian Sir Roy Strong – The Laskett Gardens. The garden has been transformed from a four acre field into a series of stunning garden rooms, vistas, ascents and descents. These include a rose garden, pleached lime avenue, orchard, kitchen garden, knot garden, fountains, statuary and parterres as well as a spectacular array of topiary and rich herbaceous and prairie style borders. Entry includes the beautifully illustrated plan by Jonathan Myles-Lea
and also an audio guide.
DAY FOURMonnow Valley Arts
Our final day of the Secret Gardens tour takes us to the Welsh Borders for our most picturesque garden in the hills at Monnow Valley Arts.This peaceful location will make it difficult to leave. A modern garden of four acres. All the design for the garden has been done by its owners. The outlook from the sensory garden is to the Art & Memory field with raised banks and a pond for the display of larger pieces of sculpture and specimen trees. The garden is a hidden gem, in a surprising place with stunning views over the Black Mountains of Wales. See how the owners have created a truly inspirational modern garden from an old working farm.
For our final garden we visit Kentchurch Court, thought to be one of the most important historic houses in England, and has been in the Scudamore family for almost 1,000 years. Kentchurch Court and the Deer Park nestle under Garway Hill, surrounded by an Estate, comprising of some 5,000 acres. The house has undergone various changes since the Scudamores arrived to live in the tower in 1058.
Significant building took place in the 14C to be “modernised” by John Nash in 1795 and again in the 1820s by Thomas Tudor. Relax in the Walled Garden, stroll through the Rhododendron Wood, enjoy the working Vegetable Garden or spot the fallow deer and ancient trees in the Deer Park. Kentchurch Court is still a private estate so the gardens and house are also open for pre booked group visits on specific days.
 
 
All holiday itineraries listed can also be made into an exciting day trip, but if you would like to take advantage of this glorious location, stay a little longer and we can book some great accommodation .
Rural Concierge is a full member of PTS (Protected Travel Services) which means you can enjoy your holiday knowing that you have 100% financial protection and full peace of mind at all times.
Tel 01432 370514  or email info@rural-concierge.co.uk