A place to grow

PUBLISHED: 16:46 07 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:13 20 February 2013

An education for the green fingered

An education for the green fingered

Dave Hancock goes back to school to study horticulture. You can do the same on June 8

Dave Hancock goes back to school to study horticulture. You can do the same on June 8



Don't turn the page if you can't tell a Christmas rose from a hellebore or you think mowing the lawn is just an excuse not to wash the car. This series is for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. We're talking about places where you can watch other people's grass grow, eat their cakes and look behind their compost bin. Point out each perennial or merely comment on how green the grass is - it's up to you.
NGS is the National Gardens Scheme. Instead of merely peering over fences, you get to be in other people's gardens. You hover over their horticulture, admire their arboriculture, ponder their propagation and linger in their landscaping. They're great days out and any money you spend goes to charity.
In Shropshire, more than 50 gardens will be open this year. Most are privately owned; a few are commercial gardens which have special NGS openings. Each issue, we'll preview a garden about to open, list gardens opening in the month and tell you about other interesting things related to plants and gardens. Forget about the lawnmower, put your feet up and read on.

Featured garden - Adcote School
Visitors to the garden on Sunday, June 8 will get not only the pleasure of seeing an interesting garden but also all the fun of a summer fête with pony rides, a coconut shy, croquet and competitions including hat decoration and a 'garden on a plate'. There will be cream teas and ice cream and lots of interesting stalls.
There will certainly a chance to buy plants. The Year 10 Young Enterprise group, Bloomin' Good has raised £1,000 already by selling plants and garden equipment. The school has two polytunnels, which Shrewsbury Horticultural Society helped them to purchase, in which plants can be grown for their own garden and for sale. The Percy Thrower Garden Centre sells them split bags of compost at a discounted price.
When I visited the school, the garden was rather deserted. Members of the Gardening Club were at Malvern preparing their garden, sponsored by West Mercia Constabulary, for the Malvern Show. Last year, the club members created a garden with Chris Beardshaw, which won a Gold Medal. This year will see their third appearance the Shrewsbury Flower Show. Design is a whole-school project but the hard work is done by 15 girls led by Louise Hudson, teacher of PE and Geography.
The garden was also looking rather bare. Old and diseased trees have been removed. The process has left large areas ready to be filled with plants, bulbs and saplings so visiting the garden will be a chance to see work in progress.
There is a small lake in the grounds and it is hoped to develop this as a conservation area, which will be a valuable resource to Adcote School and neighbouring schools.
As you approach along the drive, you can admire the school, a Grade I listed building built of local sandstone by Norman Shaw. The style is Tudor with tall chimneys and mullioned windows.
Walk around the right side of the school and down the East Walk, admiring the magnificent magnolia and acer at the top and the topiary on the hedges. On the left is a walled garden, which was once the kitchen garden but is now a hockey pitch. The cherry trees were donated by the Old Girls. At the end is a seat sheltered by a little house, the path curves behind it and into a lovely woodland garden with rhododendrons and azaleas.
Open: Sunday, June 8.
Opening time: 2-5pm.
Admission: Adults £4, children free.
Address: Adcote School, Little Ness SY4 2JY.
Directions: 8m north-west of Shrewsbury. Via A5, turn off north-east to follow signs to Little Ness.
Wheelchair access to main features. No dogs except guide dogs. Plants for sale. Refreshments available.

Shropshire open gardens June 2008

JUNE - Sunday 1:
• Bluebell Cottage, Aston SY11 4JH. Refer to County Leaflet
• Holly Cottage, Prolley Moor, Wentnor SY9 5EH, tel: 01588 650610
• Longner Hall, Atcham, Shrewsbury SY4 4TG. Refer to County Leaflet
• Shoothill House, Ford, Shrewsbury SY5 9NR, tel: 01743 850795
• Stanley Hall, Bridgnorth WV16 4SP. Refer to County Leaflet
Tuesday 3:
• Brownhill House, Ruytin XI Towns SY4 1LR, tel: 01939 261121
Wednesday 4:
• Edge Villa, Edge, near Yockleton SY5 9PY, tel: 01743 821651
Friday 6:
• Cruckfield House, Ford, Shrewsbury SY5 9NR, tel: 01743 850222
Sunday 8:
• Applecross House, Alveley WV15 6NB, tel: 01746 780313
• The Cottage, 2, Farley Dingle, Much Wenlock TF13 6NX. Refer to County Leaflet
• Gate Cottage, Cockshutt SY12 0JU, tel: 01939 271606
• Marehay Farm, Gatten, Ratlinghope SY5 0SJ, tel: 01588 650289
• Morville Hall Gardens, near Bridgnorth WV16 5NB. Refer to County Leaflet. Including The Cottage, The Dower House, 1, The Gatehouse, 2, The Gatehouse, Morville Hall, South Pavilion
Saturday 14:
• Whittington Village Gardens, Daisy Lane and Top Street, Whittington, near Oswestry SY11 4EA. Refer to County Leaflet
Sunday 15:
• Whittington Village Gardens (also June 14)
Tuesday 17:
• Radnor Cottage, Clun SY7 0JA, tel: 01588 640451
*Last month's Shropshire Life mistakenly said Radnor Cottage was open on June 27, it is in fact June 17, as above. Apologies for the error.
Sunday 22:
• Holmcroft, Wyson Lane, Brimfield, near Ludlow SY8 4NW. Refer to County Leaflet
• Little Heldre, Buttington SY21 8TF, tel: 01938 570457
Thursday 26:
• Preen Manor, Church Preen SY6 7LQ, tel: 01694 771207

GARDENS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Dudmaston Hall Gardens, Quatt, near Bridgnorth WV15 6QN, tel: 01746 780866
Woolerton Old Hall, Woolerton TF9 3NA, tel: 01630 685760

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Ruthall Manor, Ditton Priors WV16 6TN, Tel: 01746 712608

Full details of gardens open for charity in Shropshire in 2008 as part of the National Gardens Scheme can be found in the NGS County Leaflet obtainable from good garden centres, bookshops, libraries and visitor information centres. Alternatively, send a large (DL size) stamped and addressed envelope to Mrs Chris Neil, County Organiser, Edge Villa, Edge, Yockleton SY5 9PY, tel: 01743 821651 (who can also answer enquiries relating to the National Gardens Scheme in Shropshire).

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