Having moved to their new home at Langdale in Offenham, Worcestershire in June 2009, Sheila & Adrian James have created a new garden there from scratch. They now open the garden at Langdale under the National Garden Scheme (NGS), and also by arrangement for small group visits from which donations to local charities & causes are made from the money raised.
There had never been a cultivated garden at Langdale before they arrived, so they were lucky enough to be able to start from a blank canvas. The garden took 4 years to build, first opening for visitors in 2013.
There were some specific features that Sheila & Adrian wanted to include in the design, as well as it being a space where they could grow as wide a range of plants as possible in a Worcestershire garden. There were two main design objectives. Firstly, that there would always be something of interest in the garden, whatever the season. And secondly, even though the site is naturally flat and relatively small, once mature the garden at Langdale would be a garden of rooms, a garden that you need to explore to discover what is there, a garden where you can lose yourself for a while.
As well as being the under-gardener at Langdale, Adrian is a garden photographer and gives garden & travel talks to groups. Visit Adrian's Photography website ...
Langdale is open every year under the National Garden Scheme as part of the NGS Offenham Gardens group. In 2019 the dates are Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th August. Full details can be found on the NGS web site.
Sheila & Adrian open the garden at Langdale to groups by arrangement (up to 12 group visits per year) between early & late summer. There is a per head charge which includes entrance to the garden and refreshment option. The home-baked refreshment options are: (1) traditional tea / coffee and cake or (2) glass of wine and rustic savoury canapés. Group size: minimum 10 maximum 50. All money raised from group visits is donated to local charities & causes.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss a visit to Langdale for your group.
The Art Pad
Wendy is a glass artist specializing in glass art for the garden. We feature some of her brilliant work at Langdale. By arrangement Wendy will open her studio in Offenham to groups.
Visit The Art Pad website ...
Cotswold Garden Flowers
Many of the plants growing at Langdale have been supplied by Cotswold Garden Flowers. Of Bob Brown fame, the nursery at nearby Badsey sells a large range of plants, many of which are just that bit unusual. You might just visit the nursery while you are here, or arrange a group visit to them for before / after your visit to us.
Visit Cotswold Garden Flowers website ...
Langdale is a garden designed to have something of interest at all times of the year. In high summer the area we call The Cottage Garden (left) seems to explode out of the soil – one minute you can see the remains of tulips and there is soil between the plants, the next minute it is full on English cottage garden. It’s a pastel time of the year in this border – our native Echium rubbing shoulders with deep burgundy Heuchera and pure white Peony, delicate and scented Dianthus with Nepeta, and standing tall in the middle of the border is Thalictrum ‘Elin’. Thalictrum have stature and presence in a border, but at the same time are light, airy and “see through”, similar in this respect to Stipa gigantea and Verbena bonariensis, for example, both of which we use to dramatic effect in the garden. T. ‘Elin’ is the tallest Thalictrum I know, standing at around 8 feet tall.
Every year you get plants that, for reasons various, just perform better than usual that year. Earlier in the year the Wisteria was possibly the best it has ever been since we planted it here, just dripping with mauve-blue flowers. The roses and the clematis have done exceptionally well too, and in a number of places we have them planted together in combination. Here (right) we have deep red Rosa ‘Tower Bridge’ partnering the delicately blue shaded Clematis ‘Prince Charles’, scrambling together up an iron obelisk in the Romantic Border.
Some projects are a long time in the making, from the time the initial seed germinates until the project is completed. And so it was with a new water feature we have just installed. The Head Gardener had an idea maybe two years ago now, and quietly that idea has mulled away and grown, until recently it took shape in the form of a drawing followed by a meeting with Wendy Stafford (local glass artist – see Links) and Marcus (metal artist at The Workshop, Broadway), and a week or so later we have two circular pools filled with black reflective water out of which are “growing” two extraordinary plants made of glass and steel. They have taken pride of place in a shady spot under a Tetrapanax papyrifer which enables wonderful reflections of the plant sculptures in the water. We hope visitors to the garden enjoy them as much as we do.