We visited two gems of places just west of Morpeth last week and each appealed to the gardener within for several reasons.
These were Stanton Hall Gardens and Nursery. which sells a wide range of good quality plants at reasonable prices, and The Kitchen Garden at Meldon Park, a glorious old walled garden with a café and shop that couldn’t fail to please.
At Stanton Hall, which we have visited occasionally over the years, there is constant improvement.
The main domestic structure was rescued from dereliction and a photographic record of this hangs in the wooden gin-gan, a building used as a self-service refreshment base, with payment by way of an honesty box.
Several poly-tunnels and open-air benches display the range of fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs, herbaceous, alpines, herbs and bedding plants.
Solid gravel pathways make access easy and there is a high standard of maintenance throughout.
This encourages the visiting gardener to explore and buy. All purchases are in cash only.
So we came away with two fragrant Choisia – the green-leaved ternata and golden Sundance, with a few annuals and pot plants for good measure. Oh, and the distinct call of a distant cuckoo ringing in the ear. The first we’d heard in years.
Information on Stanton Hall opening days/times can be found at www.stantonhall.co.uk