The Goldstone Garden is positively brimming with summer exuberance. Along the double tiered herbaceous borders, Crocosmia are trumpeting the arrival of summer with their vibrant red blooms held above stiff, sword like foliage. They contrast wonderfully with the lavender coloured Phlox, a real star at this time of year. Phlox come in many shapes, sizes and colours including bicoloured flowers and often have a striking scent. This is especially noticeable during an evening stroll when the heat of the day has worn off and the air is more humid. Perhaps accompanied by an aperitif or digestif.
Even our most exotic Salvias thrive on Goldstone soil which is free draining enough to allow them to overwinter in the ground, and we are lucky enough to have the extra shelter provided by the old brick wall. In the wild Salvia involucrata, the rosy leafed sage, can be found in Mexico on forest edges. We have the cultivar ‘Bethellii’ which is currently flaunting its striking pink flowers and will continue to do so through the summer.
August is a month in which our normally busy kitchen garden really steps up a gear. In the polytunnel Sarah has been harvesting both French and runner beans and her chillies are beginning to ripen. The tomatoes that Sarah and Dylan have been assiduously cultivating have begun to ripen. These include some old favourites such as ‘Shirley’, ‘Roma’ and ‘Alicante’ but also more unusual varieties including the stripy skinned ‘Tigarella’ and the deep purplish ‘Black Opal’.
In keeping with Goldstone’s commitment to seeking out the best and most unusual fruits and vegetables we also grow heritage varieties such as the large fruited ‘Waldeck’. Our head chef will be incorporating these and others into the restaurant menu along with a variety of edible flowers including borage, calendula, nasturtium and daylilies (Hemerocallis).
Along the herb work the hyssop, oregano and marjoram are deluged in bees and butterflies whilst teasel, fennel and the glorious if heavily armoured thistle, Onopordum acanthium supply strong vertical accents. Indeed the silver leaved Onopordum can grow well over six feet with branching heads of purple flowers. A biennial, it adores stony and disturbed ground. Speaking of which the team has been working hard restoring order to the former cutting garden where the Dahlias, planted by Dylan in late spring, are flowering now.
The team have also been busy cutting and shaping the yew hedges around the garden and trying their hand at a bit of topiary. The yew, so characteristic of English gardens, forms a backdrop to the exuberant planting and creates discrete ‘rooms’ withing the garden, each with its own particular feel or character. Future years will reveal whether our artistic efforts have worked but for now why not take a stroll, cocktail in hand, and watch the progress of the glorious summer garden here at Goldstone Hall Hotel & Gardens.
From the Goldstone Garden Team.
A Georgian manor house and restaurant with 12 comfortable bedrooms overlooking the rolling tree-strewn hills of the North Shropshire countryside. Boasting 5 acres of award-winning gardens, including a productive one-acre kitchen garden.