Monday, 1 June 2009

NGS Knowle Farm

Last week, my NGS photography project took us to Knowle Farm in Loders near Bridport. An absolutely beautiful Dorset village, with cottages of the most gorgeuos buff coloured stone.
John and Alison Halliday, also run a bed and breakfast at Knowle Farm and a photograph of their cottage was featured in a national newspaper recently, due to the amazing Wisteria covering the front of their cottage.

Knowle Farm B & B
The weather was glorious if you were visiting the garden but for a photographer, the light was really harsh and completely bleached all the colours. Luckily Andy is becoming a dab hand at being my assistant. I took a diffusing umberella with me this time and my 'assistant' held it over the plants casting a dappled light over the plants, which did the trick!
                                                                           Centranthus ruber
                                                                                Black Iris

                                                                                Yellow Iris

The garden is set in 1 acre and gently slopes down to the river Asker, which regularly floods every Winter. This is hard to imagine when you see it bubbling softly on a sunny day in May but Alison assures me that as it's a flood plane, the water drains very quickly and the plants which border the river come to no harm. The badgers which visit the garden, do more damage to the garden, by digging up the bulbs!

River Asker

A quite sitting place by the river
The garden has a lovely restful feel to it, with lots of lovely shady places to sit.
When John and Alison moved to Knowle Farm 10 years ago, the garden was just a grassy slope down to the river and over time they have made a most wonderful garden, with lots of areas including a kitchen garden, meadow, orchard and an area for their chickens.
stone archway
I purchased a couple of plants from the plant sales and after all the photography and retail therapy it was time for tea and cake.
The spread  looked absolutely delicious and had been kindly baked by a group of ladies calling themselves Stitch and Bitch. They are a group of ladies who live in the village and like to stitch and no doubt lots of gossiping goes on, hence their title. I tried a most gorgeous looking slice of Victoria Sandwich baked by Betty Wilde. It tasted absolutely scrumptious. Her secret ingredient being Mascapone cheese instead of cream and oh my goodness it tasted yummy. All the proceeds from the tea and cake sales goes to the Mountjoy Special School in Bridport.

                                                               back of the cottage

                                                                   Bettys' cake

                                                              Alison and John Halliday

John and Alison where extreamly hospitable and we spent a lovely afternoon looking around their garden.
You will have to wait until next year if you want to visit their garden under the NGS but it's one to circle as soon as you get next years yellow book.

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