We start the day with a visit to the two gardens which supported the
Abbey. They have become separated by management over time,
but are virtually side by side with each referring the other as a
The first is the Priory Garden. These days it is most famous for its
collection of dried flowers. Each of the plants in the garden is grown
for its ability to be dried and used in arrangements or crafts. It has a
large drying room on display and examples of the uses they can be
put to. The garden itself is small but lovely and bees happily buzz
around it. Both Chris and I pat a bumble. Considering that we have
learnt they are quite capable of biting many times over, they really
are very docile. It bumbles along and patiently accepts pats from us
The real star of this first garden is the orchard. It’s vey old and filled
with heirloom apples of many different types, as well as pears and
quinces. They must love it here as even the small trees are bent over
with fruit. Some of the apples are such bright red that they look like
Christmas baubles. The garden is behind a large stone wall which
has iron decorations through it. In conjunction with the stone
cottage we entered through, it’s very picturesque.
The second garden is the Harmony Garden. Set down and across
the road, this garden is attached to a beautiful three storey
Georgian house. The house was not open to the public, but the
immediate formal flower beds were, and beyond them, the
fabulously extensive vegetable and herb gardens.
The vegetable garden stole the show here, with many different
types of heirloom varieties of potato, rhubarb,kohlrabi, turnip,
lettuce, corn, onion, kale, mint, oregano, red and black currants,
raspberries, strawberries…..the list goes on forever. Just lovely.
When the crops are in, they are sold via an honesty box. We go
home with a red cabbage, rosemary, salad onions and black
Chris tears me away from the gardens to get back to our journey
south. We head for the Northumberland region, via the
Northumberland National Park and along the way we pass from
Scotland to England. The pass is marked by a small white stone,
Tomorrow we visit Hogwarts. How exciting to type that sentence!
The castle where the first two Harry Potter filmed were set is nearby.
Chris had his haircut yesterday and mentioned it to the barber,
who’s a big fan and said it was great.
I can’t wait. 🙂