|Blue bullrush metalwork gates entice you into the hillside gardens at Moors Meadow|
Walk around Moors Meadow in Herefordshire and you will soon realise this organic garden is quite different to any other you'll find in the area. It sits at the end of a long country farm track in rolling countryside between Tenbury and Bromyard, overlooking the Kyre valley below and was voted the "Most Romantic Garden" in Central England by BBC Gardener's World readers in 2010. Easy to see why when you get there, but you won't find it in any of the UK garden guides.
|Part of the charm of this garden is the meadow plantings|
Owner Ros Bissell was born here after her parents moved here in 1955. Tom and Rosie Johnson bought the house and plot for just £400 and worked it as a smallholding and market garden. Ros was the last of seven children and returned to her home in 1999 and has cherished the garden ever since. There are many fine examples of her late husband's metalwork scattered throughout this plantsman's paradise. Head there for the first Sunday of August (Sunday 5th August this year) for the annual "Hot Day in August" for a day of music and stalls in aid of St Michael's Hospice and you'll have the chance to enjoy this garden at the height of summer.
|One of many places to sit in the garden - bench made by Ros Bissell's late husband|
Established more than half a century ago, the garden is home to hundreds of varieties of trees and shrubs ranging from giant Redwoods at the far reaches of the property to Indian Bean trees, Japanese Lantern trees, a spectacular Handkerchief tree and even a New Zealand Kowhai. Ros' parents started planting when they moved here, and she has carried on the tradition since her return. But don't be deceived by the delightful informality of Moors Meadow, because Ros is always busy propagating and pruning.
|Close to the house Ros has carried on the smallholding tradition with productive herb and kitchen gardens|
First-time visitors will be entranced by the undulating meadows, filled with wildflowers and the huge collection of shrubs. I was there late in May, but there's no doubt that the last two months of wet weather will have turned this into an even greater spread for visitors.This is a garden with vistas and views and colourful planting throughout the seasons, starting with spring bulbs, borders overflowing with perennials, a wildflower meadow that will be flourishing now, fernery, cottage-style garden and productive kitchen garden. There are also wonderful bluebell displays in springtime.
The seven acres are peppered with metalwork seats and sculptures crafted by Ros' late husband, including the blue bullrush gates (top) that first catch your eye when you head towards the open meadows. But there is also a local artist blacksmith in residence - Joshua De Lisle - who made the tercentenary gates at Richmond Park and his work is also on show in the garden. There's little doubt that this is an eclectic and unusual garden and if you're lucky you'll find Ros sitting on her verandah (below) to tell you more about the plants.
|If Ros Bissell isn't busy in the garden, you'll find her on her verandah during the summer months|
Moors Meadow is a truly charming garden, romantic too, and open every daily from the end of March to the first week of September (except Wednesdays and Thursdays) from 11.00 -17.00. Admission is £5.00 for adults. It is signposted off the main road from Bromyard to Tenbury. Other nearby gardens worth visiting include Hampton Court and if you want somewhere romantic to stay, there's always Brook Farm at Berrington, which has its own glorious garden.
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