Yorkshire garden trip: Cow Close Cottage

Finally! I’ve found time to post again about our Yorkshire garden trip. My first post was about Newby Hall. You may get really tired of these UK posts, but as Robert Browning wrote:  “Oh, to be in England now that April’s there,” or perhaps, in this case, June.

Antique copper pot used as a very large container. The owners were thrilled to get one that was so large.
Antique copper pot used as a very large container. The owners were thrilled to get one that was so large. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what was once boiled in it. Sheep’s wool? Sorghum? I don’t know.

I hope you don’t mind me sharing our travels because travel is one of the things I truly live for.

Sedum, salvia and campanula at Cow Close Cottage. Yorkshire Garden
Sedum ‘Matrona,’ Salvia nemorosa ‘Wesuwe’, and tall campanula at Cow Close Cottage.

When not traveling, I’m planning my next trip. Last week, I spoke on a panel with two other bloggers, Erin Schanen from The Impatient Gardener and Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant at the GWA Annual Conference & Expo in Chicago.

Next month, I’m meeting Bill in Milwaukee, for the 115th Anniversary of Harley Davidson. Yes, we ride a Harley. He’ll ride the entire way from Oklahoma to Wisconsin. I’ll fly.

I’ll ride to Roman Nose State Park in Oklahoma, and even Bikes, Blues and BBQ in Arkansas, but Wisconsin is entirely too far for this Red Dirt Girl.

That said, let’s get back to our Yorkshire Garden trip.

Herbaceous border and one side of the Cow Close Cottage.
The herbaceous border on one side of the Cow Close Cottage.

While it’s fun to travel almost anywhere, traveling to English gardens with friends and my husband, Bill, makes everything so much better. Layanee DeMerchant of Ledge and Gardens and her friend and travel agent, Lorraine Whittemore organized this trip. Another dear friend, Cindy Tournier at My Corner of Katy also traveled with us. We met many other lovely friends on the tour and in the gardens.

I think travel makes you a better person. I really do.

[Click on the photos in the galleries to enlarge them and read the captions.]

Part of the reason I went with Layanee’s group was that I’m also thinking about leading people on trips. Heck, I already do all the research before I go with another group. Why not share that research with others!

Pink Foxtail barley grass mixed with salvia at Cow Close Cottage. The guys said they just let it reseed each year. It is beautiful in this spot.
Foxtail barley grass, Hordeum jubatum ‘Early Pink’ mixed with Salvia nemorosa ‘Wesuwe’ at Cow Close Cottage. The guys said they just let the grass reseed each year. It is beautiful in this spot.

What do you think? Would you like to go? If you think you might sign up for my travel newsletter, and you’ll get a copy of my free packing list too. I’ll also send you tips and tricks to start saving for that bucket list vacation.

Salvia numereosa 'Wesuwe' and Nepeta grandiflora 'Blue Danube' against a 'Forest Pansy' redbud.
Salvia nemorosa ‘Wesuwe’ and Nepeta grandiflora ‘Blue Danube’ against a ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud.

One of our first stops on our Yorkshire Garden trip was Cow Close Cottage, open as part of the National Garden Scheme, a voluntary organization where gardeners open their private gardens, large and small, for charity. In fact, all of the gardens we visited were part of the scheme or were larger public gardens.

Layanee sitting in the chair at the end of the meadow.
Layanee sitting in the chair at the end of the meadow. I cannot describe the amount of insects that were fed by this meadow of grasses and wildflowers. I still want to plant my meadow. Perhaps, I’ll get to it in 2019.

William Moore & John Wilson own Cow Close Cottage, and they were delightful hosts. So kind, and interesting to talk with. They bought the property in May 2008 and planted the first border in 2009. They retired to the cottage in 2010 so it’s a fairly young garden. It is planned and planted so that the perennial borders hit their peak at the end of July.

They were lovely also in June.

Purple astrantia, masterwort, around a large bird bath in the back garden.
Purple astrantia, masterwort, around a large bird bath in the back garden.

All of the photos in this post are from their wonderful garden.

The ha-ha at Cow Close Cottage. Ha-has were built to keep animals out of the upper garden without destroying the view from the house.
The ha-ha at Cow Close Cottage. Ha-has were built to keep animals out of the upper garden without destroying the view from the house.

Groups and individuals pay to enter gardens and have refreshments, like cake, tea, and elderberry cordial. The Brits seem to be big on elderberry cordial, and Bill and I were glad because it’s quite tasty. Sometimes, elderberry cordial is served cold and diluted with water, and other times diluted with sparkling water. Either way is delicious. While many of the gardeners made their own elderberry cordial, and you can too, you can also buy Belvoir Fruit Farm Elderflower Cordial, 500ml on Amazon of all places.

You may notice from the lawn that they were in the middle of a drought that then deepend over the summer. I’ve heard that the rains have now returned. Then again, you may not notice because southern gardens in the U.S. are often in drought most summers.

I hope you enjoyed our visit to Cow Close Cottage. I’ll do another Yorkshire post soon.

13 Comments

  1. Never tire of reading about your travels, Dee, especially to the land of my birth. Ironic that they had heat and drought while PA had record rain! You really should conduct some tours! P. x

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Oh Pam, it was quite the heatwave and drought for them, and they were really unprepared for it. It was interesting. Honestly, I think if their heat and drought continue in coming years, they could learn a lot from American gardeners.

  2. Ollie Oakley says:

    That’s indeed a lovely garden. I agree with you that travelling does make one a better person (better plan my next trip then). Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jenny says:

    A bike rider? I never imagined. But returning to your visit. I love the National Garden scheme. Such a worthy cause with garden visits to gardens you might never normally visit. Cow Close looks delightful, the perfect retirement garden.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Jenny, LOL, my husband really loves riding his Harley and does all around the country. I’ll fly up and meet him and play around for a few days. I need a vacation my friend. I do have all the Harley clothes though. 😉

  4. Cow Close Cottage is delightful, and I’m especially impressed by their use of purple! Purple is a favorite color of mine, especially in the garden.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Robin! They did love purple, and I thought they used the color better than almost anyone I’ve seen. It flowed so well around the garden. It was splendid.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing. Love the antique pot.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I wish I had one in my garden. That’s for sure!

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It is a gorgeous place. I love those old stacked stone walls. I would love to have one. We don’t have that many rocks in my part of the world. I would have to purchase them all.
    Have fun on your Harley weekend.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Lisa, I would have to purchase anything that wasn’t red sandstone. I have that aplenty here. I think we’ll have a great time in Milwaukee. At least, if nothing else, it will be cooler.

  7. Very lovely. There’s nothing that can replace the patina of age that so many British gardens have, but whenever I see a picture of cattle on rolling hills, I can’t help but think my upstate NY has scenery every bit the equal of that. Our 19th century farmhouses and dry stack stone walls are infants compared to their British equivalents, but our long views are just as beautiful! All right, I’ll get off my soap box now.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Yes, Kathy, you’re fortunate. Upstate NY is very beautiful.

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