Seaton Delaval Hall gardens

On Monday many of you joined me for a walk at Seaton Sluice, on the Northumberland coast. There I discovered a wonderful piece of shoreline, but my real purpose that day was to make a return visit to Seaton Delaval Hall.

It was August last year, on a cool, turning to dampish day, that I first saw these gardens.  I knew then that I’d be back.  As luck would have it, I was just in time to rescue the water lilies from the mischievous fingers of a small boy.  Caught in the act!

The frog needed to take a tougher stance

The frog needed to take a tougher stance

Water and small boys.  Inevitable temptation!  But let’s wander elsewhere.  There are plenty of temptations in this garden, and even a small nursery where you might find a little something to add to your collection.  The house and gardens are owned by the National Trust, and the bank of volunteer gardeners are highly enthusiastic about their subject.  Gardener Chris Brock keeps a blog which enthusiasts among you might like.

The Hall is a lovely backdrop to the Rose Garden

The Hall is a lovely backdrop to the Rose Garden

The roses date back to the 1950s

With roses dating back to the 1950s

There are roses a-plenty!

This is my ‘best in show’

The borders thickly weave their spell, in subtle but beautiful swathes of colour.  Here and there, an unapologetic ‘show off’ plant.  If you’ve got it…

Much more than a flounce!

Flaunt it!

You might remember that the ‘Gay Delavals’ liked a little flaunting.  They were fond of masquerade balls and staged their own theatrical productions.  An invitation to one of their parties might have included anything from rope dancers to a sack race in these beautiful gardens. I browsed a little…  sniffing here, sniffing there.

Here's another Bobby Dazzler, as my Mam would say

Here’s another Bobby Dazzler, as my Mam would say

The gardens were designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and include everything from French formal design to the landscape style of Capability Brown.  The National Trust is working hard to make these gardens a success, and throughout the summer there are 15- minute Table Top talks from the gardeners and guided walks through the grounds.  You can even join a Teddy Bears Picnic, if you’ve a mind.  Full details of events are on the website.

A rose bower, anyone?

A rose bower, anyone?

The house is ever present

And the ever present house

I hope you’ve enjoyed my garden tour, and if you’re ever in the area you make an effort to see Seaton Delaval Hall for yourself.  Next Thursday I will be taking you inside the house on a follow up to Restoration.  I’ll say goodbye for now with a nod from the poppies.

Just a little more flamboyance

Just a little more flamboyance


  1. Hi Jo, I missed this post for some strange reason, but all I can think is ‘oh to be in England on a summer’s day’. Just glorious, I can almost smell the roses 🙂

  2. That gorgeous garden definitely needed its own post Jo, just stunning photos. Are you originally a “Yorkshire Lass” Jo? I wondered when you said “bobby dazzler” and you say “Mam” not “Mum” which is how I referred to my Mam and I still call myself “Mam” to my children…

    1. No, we’re north easterners on Mam’s side, Pauline. Mam is in common usage round here but I more often write Mum because I don’t really like ‘me Mam’. Thanks and happy weekend to you! 🙂

  3. I occasionally wonder how deep man-made garden ponds are built. Lily stalks can grow quite deep. Could be an interesting place for members of the Royal Family and aristocracy to hide things.

  4. What beautiful gardens, Jo. And I haven’t heard the saying Bobby Dazzler for years! For some reason I thought it was uniquely Australian – but I must be wrong 😉

  5. Now that’s a garden! THe colors are simply jewel-like! I love the water lilies, too, and I can never see them without thinking of our friend, Christine W. and her love of the lilies and lotus. I sure can see why you wanted to return to Seaton Dalaval Hall gardens, Jo. It’s very special.

    1. We are so lucky when it comes to gardens, Debbie! We don’t have to travel far to see some fine ones. When I first saw the Hall, in its scaffolding, the garden was just a bonus. The house drew all my pity. Now the two are about level on points 🙂

  6. Spectacular, Jo! Outdoes the mansion. I learned about box gardens when I was a tour guide in Plymouth – as the town grew, some of the more prosperous members of the community planted box gardens.

    1. That must have been really interesting to do, Noelle! You would learn so much- I’d love it 🙂 And the opportunity to chat to people about lovely places. My kind of job. I’m waving my pink umbrella! 🙂

  7. A beautifully written post Jo, with a beautiful muse. That house does more for formal gardens than Wilanow does: it has a bit of fading humility, which can’t be said for the Polish palace. The flowers are beautiful to an inhabitant of winter, although spring flowering is beginning by the road and the air is warmer. I’ll have a rose bower and a Bobby Dazzler please!

    1. The house dug itself into my heart when I first saw it encased in scaffolding, Meg. It was quite cold then too. Now, in the proper glow of a summer’s day, it has relaxed a little and the gardens have blossomed. We had the loveliest day, with first the coast and then here.
      I never saw Wilanow other than through your eyes. My friend Viveka (My guilty pleasures) has just come back from Warsaw and I shall be going to hers soon for a verdict.
      The Bobby Dazzler is all yours 🙂

  8. A “Bobby Dazzler”……..haven’t heard that one in a very long while. 🙂 Beautiful garden walk, Jo. Thanks for pointing out all the beauty there. That house is just so magnificent, and the poppies were a great way to finish up the tour. xx

  9. It doesn’t seem to get more English than rose gardens with box hedges. How fun it would have been to see a theatrical production amidst those blooms during the heyday of the Delavals.

    1. Hello Colline! I’m on Jude’s blog and was just about to pop over when I spotted you in her comments. And here you are! 🙂 Summoned by the WP genie 🙂 Hope all’s well with you. Enjoying Summer break?

  10. This looks like a true gem, Jo. Stunning photos, now a visit is our my list, thank you. Although I live abroad, we’re member of the National Trust and I love to plan short trips where we can visit NT properties. Now what would you recommend to combine with one the next time go up North?
    Love and hugs from Norway and Norfolk,
    Dina and the rest of the gang x

    1. Thanks a lot, Dina 🙂 If you saw my Monday walk, this is only half a mile inland from some beautiful beaches. Or you could head north into Northumberland to Cragside (also NT, I believe). The history of electricity in that house is fascinating, not to mention the gardens. Then there’s Dunstanburgh Castle and a wonderful coastal walk. Is that enough options? 🙂 🙂

      1. Great, thanks a lot for this lovely suggestions, Jo! There’s nothing like getting personal tips from someone familiar with the locations so this is highly appreciated.
        Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
        Dina and the girls in Norway and our Master in Norfolk x

  11. What a fabulous garden portrait Jo. So many lovely colourful flowers and what a pretty formal rose garden! I do like your ‘best in show’ hope it was perfumed! I must get out to a garden soon but it has been very cloudy here all week. And I am sure the waterlilies were grateful for your rescue – I hope the parents were close by, those tots were awfully close to the water.

  12. What a fantastic post Jo and a splendid garden, I want to see it! Your flower photos are gorgeous. There seem to be some things flowering late, irises for instance and did I spot rhodies? The roses and delphiniums are beauties, but what I love most is the pudding trees around the box garden 🙂 they are a real delight xx

    1. I was quite surprised the rhodies were still in bloom, Gilly. Glad you like the pudding trees- that’s a great way to describe them 🙂 I almost didn’t post that pic because it’s a bit blurry 🙂

  13. I am forever the wicked witch chasing young boys away from our fragile, tempting ponds across the streets. I try to do it nicely, but their adventure is shattered in the process. So glad I grew up when we were able to rove ‘the country’ for real creeks and ponds.

    1. There seemed to be so much more colour than when we were there last year, Sue. It’s definitely been a kind summer here 🙂 Thanks, darlin’! How’s Mam?

  14. Such a lovely garden as well, Jo! Thanks for taking me along to wander and to enjoy . I love these Bobby Dazzler ‘s. I saw them once in a castle garden and was smitten by them! Thanks for sharing!

  15. what a lovely garden tour, Jo! the flowers are exquisite and love them all. your best show is my favorite too 🙂 the hall’s interior must be a show, too! thanks as always 🙂

  16. Thanks for sharing your pictures! Now I have do look where Northumberland is situated in England. I live in Belgum and I already visited (of course) Sissinghurst in Kent and some gardens near Cheltenham. By looking at your pictures it looks like I’m visiting another garden.

    1. You’ll have to come a long way north, I’m afraid. Funny- I’ve just been asked by a lady in India where Hartlepool is. I must be putting the north east on the map 🙂 I hope you make it sometime, Margot 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s