These are gardens that Gardeners’ World should visit (if they haven’t already been!). In my opinion the displays are better than at RHS’s Harlow Carr.
The car park is part hard standing and part grass and is next to the entrance and the café. The café has plenty of seating inside and outside, some of which is under the trees and so always in the shade. The café offers light lunches and the usual drinks and cakes at a price you would pay elsewhere. We were very happy with the two slices of cake that we tried. The toilets were spotlessly clean and had both hot and cold running water. There is a separate toilet for the disabled and for baby changing. The staff warn you before setting of that there are no toilets in the gardens.
Next to the café is a small vegetable plot. I am not quite sure why it is there. It is too small to be a display item and they don’t appear to make a feature of it. It was interesting to see a very healthy crop of carrots, free of root fly and not covered with protective netting. If you are interested in seeing a model vegetable plot then you will be disappointed as this is all there is.
Leaving the entrance to the gardens you then need to walk about 200 yards to where the displays start. This is down a path of paving stones if I remember correctly with a flower border on either side. Walking this path you can understand why ‘Breezy’ is in the name of the gardens because this path is very exposed to the elements.
Once you reach the main gardens you are in a different world. The mature trees and hedging protect you from the elements and if it rains you can shelter in the poly tunnel. The gardens probably cover around 5 or 6 acres and are immaculately kept. I don’t think that I saw a weed throughout our visit which is mainly the result of using bark chippings throughout the gardens.
One different planting area leads into another using paths of tarmac, gravel, bark chippings and grass. Each area is of a good size and there is plenty of room for young children to run around without spoiling it for other visitors, provided of course the parents or in our case grandparents, take their role responsibly. Have a look at Breezy Knee’s web site to see the many differently planted areas and the best time of year to see each one.
Virtually all of the plants were labelled, so take or notebook, a camera and your smart phone with its camera and note making facilities.
We spent one and a half hours there with few stops to sit down on the many benches that are carefully placed around the grounds, and we didn’t manage to see all areas. Living locally we will be back, particularly as our RHS membership allows free access on a Wednesday.
This place is a gem: you will not be disappointed.
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