This was our second visit to Biddulph Grange, our first was back in 2001 on our first trip to Derbyshire. Back then we hadn't moved into our current house so a trip to a garden was just a trip to a garden.
These days we spot the plants we have in our garden and compare how they're doing and what they're planted with; we spot plants we'd like to have in our garden and compile a mental shopping list; I test MOH on plant names (this time we concentrated on peonies) and we get ideas on how we can change our garden at home, clearly on a much smaller scale.
And I take pictures, lots of them.
But Biddulph really is an amazing garden.
I was rather taken with the unfurling ferns
I'm a big fan of kitchen gardens and we always try to make time to visit them, at Biddulph I was pleased it was near the start of our walk round the garden.
I yearn for such organised lettuces!
We paused to admire the structure the yew hedges bring before heading towards the Dahlia walk to admire the burst of colour from the many varieties of tulips in flower.
I really should get some tulips for our garden
Then we found ourselves in the Stumpery - an amazing place. I imagine it could get quite eerie here at dusk though.
Next we headed for the Woodland Walk and I love the way the Trust re-use materials in their gardens, which in turn bring more character into the garden. These benches and stepping stones were great.
And yes, we both raced across these!
In our gardens at home we often strive for perfection, seeing this pile of Dogwood stems looking so beautiful was a timely reminder that sometimes "spick and span" can be relaxed.
This is something we can definitely do in our garden!
We headed back dwarfed by the huge sequoias, which we later discovered are only twenty years old and into the Pinetum.
Although this would be a tad ambitious
Biddulph is an amazing example of a Victorian garden and has been featured as such in the BBC series British Gardens in Time, which we've watched since we've been home.
There are many fanciful ways of moving between each part of the garden, the Cheshire house pictured above is just one of them, the tunnels are another but all of them are fun.
Biddulph is famous for its gardens of the world, probably the most famous of those is China. It's an enchanting and magical place.
Look MYOB!! (Mind your own business, the plant!)
We had a great visit and stroll around the gardens at Biddulph and we'd definitely come back again if we were in the area. Unusually for us our visit didn't end with tea and cake - that's because the tea rooms were doing a roaring trade and there only looked to be a slice of chocolate cake and some flapjacks left.
All was not lost though as we headed over to Little Moreton Hall and managed to eat there!