Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

Dunge Valley Gardens

IMG_1966When a visit to Dunge Valley Gardens was first suggested by the Parwich Ladies’ Group, quite frankly I was not wildly excited. I think it was the name which conjured up  images in my mind of  gunge, dungeons… quite very childish I know, but words do intrigue me.

Curiosity took over. I had actually never heard of the gardens, and they’re in Cheshire, and grow Rhododendrons and Azaleas, which I do love but which hate our limestone soils so we can only grow them in pots (ours outside Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns are looking particularly lovely at the moment).

Barns in the evening sun LO 17:5:13 IMG_7308

Our Azaleas we have to grow in tubs

It was chilly on Wednesday when we went, and grey and drizzly – not ideal weather – and we all were glad of winter coats with hoods! The gardens are technically Kettleshulme, about ten or fifteen minutes the other side of Buxton, but you would not find them by accident. It seemed miles up a windy and seriously narrow track, and then – with quite a sense of relief – suddenly once chances upon a fine looking stone house, with a pleasant enough  garden in front of it, with paths leading off it.

So it is a garden you explore, never quite knowing what you are going to come to next. There were wonderful specimens of Rhododendrons and other plants and trees, streams to cross and slopes to climb. It was lovely. Had the weather been kinder, it would have felt even lovelier. If you go, do take warm clothes and sensible shoes. Some if the paths were quite slippery even though obviously carefully maintained. There is a greenhouse with lots of healthy looking interesting plants for sale, which seemed quite expensive but maybe I’m out of touch.

IMG_1979IMG_1978Another colourful clump! IMG_1977Fire-like yellows and orange IMG_1976Lots of water - streams and waterfalls at every turn!IMG_1975IMG_1974There were some interesting trees too IMG_1973A glimpse of the house through the trees IMG_1972IMG_1970IMG_1966



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