In a Vase on Monday – fuchsias, 5 favourite NW gardens

So the hot, sunny weather is over for the moment.  It’s been raining on or off in Manchester all day, so I ran out into the garden to pick some flowers for the vase, you can still see the raindrops on the fuchsias. It’s a good thing it’s been raining, as the reservoirs, the farms and the gardens need it.  The drawback for me is that my arthritis starts aching again; it’s been glorious having three months pain-free.


The flowers are:

  • pelargonium in white, red and the pink edged one is ‘Crimson Flame’. Pelargoniums have appeared in IAVOM many times – pelargonium 
  • two hardy fuchsias  Son of Tom which grows about 3 foot high outside our kitchen window(small crimson flowers) and the one came from Morrisons – it might be Mrs Poppleton (crimson with a purple centreit’s about 4 foot high at the moment. Fuchsias have appeared many times In a Vase on Monday – have a look at fuchsia
  • purple perennial wallflower appear often too.
  • flowering Chive – awesome purple flowers but these were dismantled from the

The Jug reminded me of the shape of pelargoniums. It was made by Amy Helena Clarke – who is based in Stoke.  It’s appeared on the blog once before when I wrote about John Rylands Library, on Deansgate in Manchester.

The Sign  I’ve got no idea where I bought it, possibly a charity shop find; it sums up some of the many things I love about my garden.  I don’t have any topiary – to see that you need to visit a Great Garden.


Please have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts In a Vase on Monday – this week she has stunning dahlias. There’s always plenty of garden inspiration and pretty flowers from the bloggers around the world.


This Bank Holiday weekend we are hoping to go to a Cheshire garden which is only open for three days a year to raise money for local charities.  It got me thinking about some of my favourite North West Gardens – so I thought I’d do a summary of them – the photos are a snapshot because the gardens change weekly.  I’ll write more detailed posts about each soon.

1. Tatton Park – National Trust 

We go to Tatton Park, the Garden and estate often – it has a very extensive grounds, a large kitchen garden, rose gardens, vistas and hothouses.  There’s a gardener’s cottage which serves excellent afternoon teas, a cafe, and the usual NT shops.  There’s an old style carousel in the stableyard too.  The Mansion is unusual, as it’s open over the Winter with the ground floor decorated for Christmas.

Many of the gardening bloggers and local readers will know it’s been home to RHS Tatton Park flower show, held in July for the last 20 years – the site of the show is nowhere near the Mansion or the Garden.  There are many events run at Tatton throughout the year including classic car shows, charity runs including Race for Life.  I ran here once in the pouring rain for Cancer Research UK – I’d have been just as wet if I’d been swimming in the lake.

September is a very good time of year to visit Tatton Park, as the acers in Japanese Garden will be coming into full-on red!  It is one of the largest and most significant Japanese Gardens in the UK with listed status.
You can’t walk within the garden anymore but there are plenty of photo opportunities.


Tatton Park has appeared on the blog – here’s a selection:

Note: There are Car Parking charges for National Trust members too, as the estate is managed by East Cheshire Council.

2. Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales – National Trust

I love Bodnant – not just because this is where we got engaged.

It has stunning views of Snowdonia too.  There’s a large garden centre, shops selling arts and crafts as well as a tea shop. It is the National Trust after all 😉 The Mansion is privately owned and not open to the public.

Rose garden at Bodnant, engagement bench, Constance Spry roses

Rose Garden at Bodnant Garden – our engagement – 18 June 2016


June 2016 – terrace looking spectacular



Bodnant has azalea and rhododendron dells, a laburnum arch, rose terraces and large areas of woodland with some of the tallest trees in the UK.

We have been many times, but not yet this year. We need to rectify this.

3. Dunham Massey, Cheshire

We visit Dunham Massey about every three months or so, even on the coldest days of the year. It’s flat so it’s a good place to take my mum when she visits.

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We had our engagement shoot here in May 2017 – great fun 🙂 

4. Abbeywood, Delamere, Cheshire – – part of the Great Gardens of Cheshire scheme and 2-4-1 RHS membership – check the opening times before you go.

This is where we got married in September 2017 – it was the best day of my life! And The Husband says the same 🙂 That’s handy isn’t it? 

We found Abbeywood by accident – as a friend recommended it as a possible wedding venue. We weren’t disappointed when we visited in July and September 2016 – we went a second time to check what would be flowering in September – there was alot of lavender and an exotics garden.




The family who own Abbeywood are wonderful – it’s a grand day out and the food in the cafe is gorgeous.

5. Eaton Hall – Home of the Duke of Westminster –

We’ve only been to this garden once in July 2014 on one of the three annual open days to raise funds for local Cheshire charities.


It is a stunning 88-acre garden; arranging a holiday just to see it is well worth it. As well as walking around the extensive gardens, there’s the 19th-century coach house, with vintage cars and carriages, and the chapel. There are exhibits explaining the history of the Grosvenor family and the Eaton Hall Estate.   The Hall has seen many changes over the centuries, been knocked down or remodelled, most recently in 1972 and 1989.

Dartmouth Royal Naval College was transferred here during the Second World War.


There are also numerous charity stalls, sheepdog trials and gun dog displays.  There’s also a mini steam train called Katie – food and drink stalls, though people are welcome to bring picnics.


The camellia walk in the hothouse – much larger than Tatton Park – can you imagine how stunning this would be in May?


the hot border – with the indoor tennis court/sports hall in the background – July 2014


the kitchen garden and cutting beds with the Chapel tower in the background

It’s was a wonderful day out – and we are planning another visit on Sunday.

The garden is open this Sunday 26 August 2018 from 10.30am – 5pm


it is only open three days a year to raise money for local Cheshire charities

Open Day Information Sun 26 Aug 2018


But the most important question is – which place has the best cakes?  They all have excellent cafes and extensive cake selections but the winner is – Abbeywood 

Have you been to any of these gardens? What are your plans for the weekend? Are you visiting any gardens or stately homes? or staying at home? 

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx xx


20 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – fuchsias, 5 favourite NW gardens

  1. katietrafford

    LOVE THIS!! This summer I’ve recently been getting into plants especially indoor ones! Very much thinking about visiting Dunham Massey now!


  2. Elaine Fitzpatrick

    I love your photos the colours are stunning, This is our 3rd summer in thus house the garden was so well designed howdver this summer we’ve realised some plants are getting straggly and it will need some more colour adding next year. I have yet to visit Eaton Hall must give it a visit


  3. Jo

    I know what you mean about the arthritis and the newly damp weather. However, if the weather is ok this weekend I’d love to visit Abbeywood. I’ve not heard of it before and it looks beautiful.


    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      do you have arthritis too? my osteo arthritis has been aching even more today after the monsoonal rain this afternoon. Abbeywood is lovely – it’s got many different areas/styles of garden design – and they serve the best cakes. Check the website for opening times as they’re often shut for weddings. Let me know what you think. Love Bec xx


  4. Beth Berger

    Oh my gosh, the colors in that arrangement are so VIBRANT! It would certainly brighten my day to see those on my table. 🙂 Visiting gardens is one of my very favorite things to do when I’m visiting new places. It’s always such a lovely way to spend some time outdoors exploring and basking in earth’s beauty.


  5. Jasmin

    Never been to any of these gardens but I tend to visit the local one very often! I love the atmosphere in them 🙂 so calm 🙂


    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      They are – it’s well worth joining the National trust esp if you’ve got lots near you. I’d say we go to Dunham at least 4 times a year and similar for Tatton Park. Being a member means free entry and free parking (apart from a couple of places like Tatton).


  6. greentapestry

    I enjoyed your post Bec. Abbeywood must have been a fabulous venue for a wedding. Last time I went there was for a plant sale. I think that there is one coming up there again in September. If you’ve not yet been to Arley Hall or Bluebell Cottage Gardens they are both well worth a visit 🙂


    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      thank you – Abbeywood was stunning for our wedding – we’d grown alot of lavender for the tables too 🙂 and thank you for the reminder about plant sales. I’ve looked it up. I’ve never been to either Arley Hall or Bluebell Cottage – must rectify that. Arley Hall had a lovely garden at Tatton Park RHS this year 🙂



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