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 2020 the dates are Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th 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 ...
After such a wet winter, we really were not at all sure what the garden had in store for us in spring. Well we need not have worried – it has been one of the most colourful springs we can remember - many plants performing better than ever, and many early too.
Of course, the one thing we couldn’t have envisaged is that we would be the only ones to enjoy it, with the Covid-19 pandemic hitting UK shores at the start of spring, and all of us in lock down throughout. Hardly a single day goes by without one or other of us commenting just how lucky we are to have a garden like this in which to busy ourselves. One of the great attributes of gardening at times like these is that you never do actually get everything done that needs to be, and even if you did you can still potter endlessly!
The wisterias on the pergola over the rill in the centre of the garden have been getting progressively better each year, but this year has been the best show so far (left). There are four of them, one at each corner of the pergola, and by far the most vigorous of them is Wisteria ‘Burford’. We think they have all benefitted from the extra rain over the winter and W. ‘Burford’ in particular from a good thinning out after flowering last year. Just after the buds formed, a couple of cold nights had us keeping our fingers crossed, but no damage was done and now there is an extraordinary show in the heart of the garden.
I can’t actually think of a bulb I don’t enjoy to be honest, and although I readily welcome daffodils as the messengers of spring, it is the tulips that really do it for me. We have a continual process with bulbs here at Langdale – each year we buy new bulbs for the pots and containers, and when they have finished flowering we plant them out into the garden borders. The notable exception to this is Tulipa ‘Ballerina’ which we have teamed up with Euphorbia ‘Midas’ in the woodland garden and which we top up with new bulbs from time to time. One of the new varieties of tulip we tried this year was Tulipa 'Flaming Spring Green' (right) which was very striking in the large pot on the patio and which kept its flowers for what seemed to me an exceptionally long time. Walking through a garden full of tulips backlit by early morning or late afternoon sun, knowing that Irises and Alliums follow soon and then full explosion into high summer – for sure the exercise we get when gardening is good for us, but this, this is good for the soul!
Whether it’s a garden, a plant in a pot, a bunch of flowers or simply some images of plants & gardens published on the internet – enjoy it and stay well.