Peak Day Out In Bradwell

 In Bradwell, Derbyshire walks, Environment

I have just had a world class holiday experience. No, not a cruise to Venice or a tour of Bali; it was far more prosaic. With Ann, I walked from my door, paid £5.00 each for a ticket from two volunteers in front of the post office. However, with all the available tickets sold, they wrote ‘paid’ on the guide. After that, off we went, on foot, licensed to visit Bradwell Open Gardens. First, it was to our neighbours garden, with a wonderful ornamental pool on one of its terraces and Bradwell Brook at the bottom. Secondly, on to Lyndale House, where limestone and gritstone held hands in walls and an old coach house pigsty. There, we realised that the 18 gardens we wanted to see was going to be quite a walk. Our peak day out in Bradwell was challenging.

The secret garden

To continue, we climbed steeply to our next aery garden, high above the village. After that, it was back down to three cottages, each interlocked yet private with steep gardens. Then, it was across the village and up the other side. This was a newish property on a steep hillside. Clever use of sleepers on terraces, lots of climbers and sweet peas scenting the air. Then to a property even higher on the hill, a side gate into a glade. A truly secret garden surrounded by exceptional trees. We then follow the contour to a pair of cottages with suntrap gardens. Exotic canna leaves are highlighted by the sun, vegetables and tomatoes abound. Bees are everywhere. More gardens follow, some very mature, some surrounded by huge trees, some sunken within stone walls. More suntraps hold canna’s and pineapple plants. Close by, another garden is full of colourful ornaments, a fun spot.

Peak Day out in Bradwell

Finally, we finished on our own development with a neighbours new house and garden. In all, we walked about 2 miles and climbed 414′ – it was a tough day out. I cannot count the number of steps we climbed but it runs to hundreds. Whatever, this was an astounding day which quite overwhelmed me. Put together, the gardening and wildlife skills exhibited were utterly amazing. These skills included wildlife gardening, neat lawns, vegetable and fruit growing, wall building and art work. Many of these householders were carrying huge workloads, some even renovating properties. In conclusion, we have travelled around the world yet have never seen anything to resemble this horticultural community. It was a symphony of plants and stone and evidence that village life can rival anything the world has to offer. Thank you, all those people who threw open their gardens.

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