I was supposed to go to Birmingham, but it was raining too hard and I didn't go! So when today dawned grey but dry I went to visit several gardens that have very limited openings - Wednesdays and Sundays only throughout the season - but well worth it if you can get there. First stop was Titsey Place in Surrey, which I first wrote about when I started blogging (above picture taken on first visit, not today) - and I'm glad I made it there because it has one of the finest walled gardens I've seen this year.
The gardens extend to 18-acres and have lovely views over the North Downs, but it is the walled garden that is the jewel in the crown here, with its wonderful displays of cutting flowers, fruit and vegetables, from all over the world. You'll see exotic and native here, displayed to full advantage and it's a real pleasure to amble through this area en route to the main garden adjacent to the house.
You'll find immaculately trained fruit trees (above) and displays of vegetables here that rival any flower border! And then there's the glass houses with their colourful displays of exotic and tender plants; and tomatoes, peaches and nectarines. It really is a joy to wander through this walled area and see everything growing here, because it's more like an exhibition than a garden - so do make the effort to get there on a Wednesday or Sunday between 1.00 and 5.00 ... you won't be disappointed!
If you're in the area, you can combine this with Squerryes Court (below), just a couple of miles away and also open Wednesdays and Sundays (11.30-16.30). I've been trying to get here for years, but never been in the right place on the right day. The house is filled with wonderful antiques, tapestries and pictures, but the garden is also worth a quick tour. Both properties belong to the Historic Houses Association, so if you're a member, entry is free. Another of my favourite local gardens is Charts Edge, which opens on Fridays and Sundays during the season.