Jo’s Monday walk : Little Ouseburn Open Gardens

During the Summer months I like to visit an Open Garden or two, if I get the chance.  The promise of a whole village in an area I know not at all was simply too good to miss.  Situated just 5 miles from Boroughbridge in Yorkshire, Little Ouseburn was ripe for exploring.

It wasn’t an especially nice day, weatherwise, but at least it was dry.  A field had been set aside for parking and a minibus was available to transport you through the village- helpful for the less mobile as it proved to be an extremely long village, but an easy walk for the fit.  A £5 donation to the village charity bought you a map and details of participating gardens.  Time to head for the bridge!

Beneath the bridge flowed a little stream.  A connection to the River Ouse, I wondered?  But before I could speculate more I came upon the Holy Trinity Church and its mausoleum.  A Grade 1 listed building, I was charmed by the interior.  Maps and newspaper articles were laid out, detailing the history of the village.  An exhibition of lace making was taking place, and the ladies were more than happy to chat about their accomplishments.

In an alcove, steps mounted precariously to the bell ringers hideaway.  It brought to mind Bath Abbey and my ascent of the tower.  It was quite hard to tear myself away from the church, but there were 9 gardens to visit.  Over a field and a right turn brought you onto the main street of the village. Ever wanted a cottage with roses around the door?

Opposite the village hall, where you could partake of everything from a pot of tea to a three course Sunday lunch, delightful Plantation Cottage.

A tumble of clematis were the star of the show, while stately lilies looked on.  The lady of the house relaxed on the patio with her toddler, keeping a wary eye on the clouds.  Back on the street there were floral distractions aplenty.

Broadlands Bungalow delivered a stunning iris or three, an array of coleums and a confusion of wisteria, poppies and a sparkling rhododendron.

At Broadlands Farm a tea party was in full swing on the back lawn.  I couldn’t possibly be a party pooper but I can’t show you the evidence.  It was a little tricky balancing the tray and eating the cake.  In fact, apart from the chirpy robin at the beginning of the post, I took very few photos there.

I looked wistfully toward the book stall in the doorway of The Old Chapel, but time was pressing on. Orchard House next, for a lovely old stone wall with alliums, more, sumptuous irises and beautifully burgeoning peonies.

The village green had a plant stall, BBQ, icecream and cupcakes.  Nobody was going home hungry!  At the very far end of the village, Hazel House had a modern garden, with a sunken circular dining area.

Broomfield Cottage had bags of personality and a very friendly owner.  A tree surgeon by trade, he sat feeding his log burner, happy to chat about his collection of rare trees and his vegetable garden.

Paddock Cottage had a rather Zen feel and a number of metal sculptures, the aspect to the rear of lawn tennis courts and open countryside.

Just two to go, at Hill Top Cottage the lawn is sheltered by a scintillation of colourful shrubs, some of my favourites.

Lastly, the ‘big’ house, The Old Granary.  Approached by an imposing drive, it had the feel of a grande dame.  An ultra modern extension had been added and a hedge of pleached horn beams. Not really my cup of tea, but then, I wasn’t invited in.

Value for money and a good afternoon out?  I think so.  I almost forgot to tell you that the name Little Ouseburn does have associations with the River Ouse.  The original source of the Ouse is marked by a stone in the neighbouring village of Great Ouseburn.

Visit Little Ouseburn Open Gardens for details of how to get there.  The homeward jouney I found intriguing because we crossed the toll bridge at Aldwark, at a cost of 40p!  I didn’t even know it existed till then, but there’s a neat little story about the ticket collector here.

Dashing around trying to fit all the walks in this morning!  There are heaps and some wonderful ones, so please try to visit as many as you can. Many thanks to you all!  Details of how to join me are over on my Jo’s Monday walk page.   Definitely time for a cuppa now!


We all need a weekly smile, don’t we?  74!  That’s more than a year of smiling.  Thanks, Lady Lee!

Weekly Smile 74 

Miriam can always find words of encouragement, even in troubled times :

Music in the Air

I remember having mottoes on the wall, in the ‘good old days’.  So does Jackie!

Toronto Textile Museum

Drake has both feet on the ground this week, but there’s magic in the air :

Completely down on earth

Please go and meet Sheri, and learn a little more about Vancouver :

A Walking Tour of Vancouver’s Hidden Past

Dawn has been lingering by some lovely windows this month.  Don’t forget her challenge!

A Lingering Look at Windows- June Bonus Week

Amanda takes us back in time, in Norway :

Roros – A Walk back in ‘Mine’

Join Jolandi in the Spanish mountains- it looks blissful!

Walking in The Alpujarras

Or how about the little known Jura area of France, with Food is Travel?

The trail of the perched cat in Dole, France

Wonderful memories of a city I love, brought back to life for me by Becky :

Porto – a walking city

While Carol solves a mystery or two in the Lake District :

What the Devil’s Going On?

Beautiful blooms from Susan, in New York City :

Central Park’s Conservatory Garden in the Spring

And a fabulous seven-arched bridge in the company of Eunice :

Roaming round Rivington

Ending on an absolute high with a garden post that puts mine to shame.  Stunning work, Jude!

Garden Portrait :  Dartington Hall

Phew!  Just about made it this week!  Thanks again everybody.  Take good care and I’ll see you soon.


  1. oh what a lovely village, and what a great way to open up the gardens. Noone gets overwhelmed by visitors. .. . I wonder if they all sneak around each others though the week before to check out the competition!!

    1. Thanks a lot Denzil. I’m in Nottingham with my daughter for the weekend. I’ve scheduled a Monday walk but have limited Wifi and will probably have to keep your walk for the following week. Enjoy your weekend x

    1. Oh dear! 😦 Sitting at home on an equally grey ‘Summer’ morning, wondering where the nice weather went. But at least I have a visit to my daughter to look forward to. 🙂 🙂 Have a good weekend, Karen!

  2. I’ve never thought about how lace is made. It looks more difficult than I imagined. Who ever came up with such an intricate craft?

    Oh, springtime!! Such beautiful clematis, irises, and poppies. And you take such sharp, colorful photos.

  3. What a lovely day of discoveries…spoilt with gardens and food! The lace makers caught my eye and I wonder how on earth anyone manages to make sense of those spindles (? I’m not sure this is the word). Intricate beyond belief and I’m in total awe of them! Did you have a go, Jo? The Rose Cottage is idyllic, such a dream house whilst I did like the modern garden of Hazel House – a split personality here?! 😀😃 Many thanks for sharing these gardens and your day with us – a joy to tag along! 😀

    1. Gilly (Lucid Gypsy 🙂 ) says she used to do lacemaking, Annika. I’ve got more thumbs than fingers so there’s no way I could make it happen. 🙂 There were several houses I wouldn’t have minded trying on for size but nobody offered. 😦 Always lovely to have your company.

  4. How I envy the many gardens and countryside nooks and crannies for you to explore, Jo. England is a wealth of natural beautiful and you’ve captured this garden so well. Love the roses climbing up the cottages and the peonies ready to burst. Your photographs are fabulous…you could make this entire post into a charming coffee table book. Love it.

    1. The mix of lots of rain and a little sunshine seems to have really suited the gardens this year, Elisa. Our own is growing like crazy. I was just out trimming back and playing around with some photos of oriental poppies that I love. 🙂 Thank you so much, hon. On that other note, I’m going to be in the Algarve for part of Wimbledon fortnight. How will I cope with no TV? 🙂 🙂

  5. What a lovely idea to have the whole village of Little Ouseburn involved Jo! The name seemed familiar so I looked it up and it’s just north of the main road we take to get from Harrogate to York so I must have driven past the turn off last month. The cottage and house are delightful – Rose Cottage looks so enchanting! It must have been cold though if the tree surgeon had his log burner going! Still the teas and cakes would have helped. Hope it’s a bit warmer this week for you! 🙂

    1. I was actually surprised to find him with the log burner going, Rosemay, because it was overcast but quite a warm day. It’s madly changeable at present but we’re promised a heatwave later this week. Of course, it probably won’t make it up to Hartlepool but I’m heading for my daughter’s at the weekend. The gardens are looking lovely though 🙂 🙂

      1. We could do with the water here Jo – hardly any rain for the past few weeks and a very mild start to winter. Will have to start hand watering the garden again as sprinklers are banned in the winter months. Hope the sun makes it way to you though! 🙂

  6. This post is a real feast darling, what did M think of the gardens, does he walk around with a professional eye or just relax? I rather like the looks of the modern one, but anywhere with flowers makes me smile. Hope your week began well, Gx:-)x

    1. Thanks, hon. 🙂 The professional eye is out and he loves to get into a chat if he can. At the modern one he made some suggestions for their back wall and he and the tree surgeon could have nattered all day. Definite busman’s holiday. 🙂 🙂 We actually got out for a walk with the group yesterday and didn’t get rained on, which was a bonus. Love you, darlin!

  7. Jo I am beginning to think the entire UK is one picture postcard of gorgeous blooms and fascinating architecture. Perhaps it is just your good choices of walks. I think the local tourism boards should be paying you well!

    1. At this time of year you wouldn’t be far wrong, Sue. The gardens are all looking great with so much rain and a bit of sunshine. We have some oriental poppies in ours which I’ve promised the other Sue a shot of when I can catch them not nodding too much in the breeze. I do love Summer. 🙂 🙂

    1. It’s a volunteer process, Draco. Some gardens you could only peer over the wall, but there were 9 you could go into. It’s done to raise funds and is quite a nice, friendly way to do it. 🙂 🙂 And there were some beautiful gardens and a lot of cake!

  8. The thing I like about about travel and blogging Jo, is when someone talks about an area to which we have been in our travels. Even if only a fleeting visit as it was to York last year. However, we did stay at the Park Raddison, which over looks the River Ouse (which I am sure you knew) and memories came flooding back at the mention of the River Ouse. Love the photos…and that’s enough waffle from me. 🙂

  9. I do miss the Ludlow Secret Gardens being down here, always lovely to pop in to ordinary folk’s gardens (though some were less ordinary than others). Doesn’t seem to happen in Cornwall. Nice to see what is growing and also pinch ideas. I quite fancy some sculpture in mine. Very subtle of course. Sadly my clematis was torn to shreds by the winds last week. Just spent all afternoon in the garden weeding and tidying up. Off to get more pebbles tomorrow and attempt to get the redesigned spot completed. Before the heatwave 😀 😀

    1. I’m surprised if you don’t have open gardens in Cornwall, Jude. Did you check the link? They don’t seem to advertise other than locally, as I expect they can’t cope with too many visitors. This was an amazingly long thin village and the most gardens I’ve ever been to in one go. Mick and the tree surgeon got on famously. 🙂 🙂 The sculpture artist was at the Harrogate Show but I liked the stuff in this garden better than those he was exhibiting. We have heaps of clematis this year, the roses are about to take off, the foxgloves having a bee fest and there’s a lovely oriental poppy I’ve promised Sue a shot of. Yes, I did see mention of a heatwave but it may not make it this far. 🙂 I’m in Nottingham this weekend.

      1. I checked the link. There were two mentioned, both having a ‘rest’ this year! I shall look out for them next year though. Your garden sounds such a delight, I wish you’d post more photos from it. I can’t even visualise how big it is, or how it is laid out. I have two foxgloves – I think they just drifted in so I hope they decide to self-seed and stay.

      2. At the weekend, d’you mean? I shall leave that up to Madam. It’ll be all girly stuff 🙂 🙂 Otherwise, see response on yours. Hoping for something for the anniversary in August. Thank you!

  10. We visited a similar village last year in Scotland’s Gardens Scheme. It’s lovely when a whole community joins together to put on a great event like this (with lots of cake). Lovely post.

  11. A beautiful walk Jo, that I really enjoyed. I love walking through gardens, your poppy shot at the end was gorgeous and holds deep meaning.

  12. Jo, I so enjoyed this visit to the gardens, thanks so much. Your writing is a pleasure to read, and the photos are wonderful. Enchanting gardens, loved all the flowers, especially the peonies and rhododendron, beautiful structures, and the hand-made lace was gorgeous. I am certain I would’ve enjoyed the tea party too.

  13. I like the idea of an open garden and the money collected goes to charity. Like you I often like to visit an open garden during Spring and Summer. You managed to capture some beautiful flowers with your photos 😄

  14. What fun. There is always so much to learn from open gardens, developed by ordinary people like you and me rather than the showpiece affairs with hordes of gardeners and volunteers. Not to mention a big budget.
    I’m overdue a good walk. Time is so tight at the moment. But I desperately need one and will link it when it happens!

  15. What is it about cute fluffy little birds – even when they’re made of stone or concrete? This one served as a perfect start to the tour of the gardens. You reunited me with many of my old favorites, reminders of the unique gifts from the change of the seasons. That dragonfly sculpture was quite nice! Thanks for giving people like me a second view!

      1. The garden images are always a tonic; funny, as much as I loved the spring flower period and was always in the garden or painting the flowers, no one ‘from home’ seems to remember that t send images of wisteria – ha, or even kudzu! once while having lunch with a friend on a campus outdoor restaurant, i stiffened, inhaled and exclaimed, “Kudzu!” and dashed off to find the flowers. They smell like grape bubblegum and make a unique jelly! My friend just laughed and said she never knew that there was a flower, much less one of worth!

        Monday is always a crazy day… things will work out, and in a few days all will be fine. Thanks!

  16. Beautiful photos Joanne, what a gorgeous garden!
    We used to have an “Open garden scheme” in Perth when for a few months every year a couple of gardens would open on weekends, and the entry fee would be donated to the charity of the owner’s choice, but unfortunately the scheme ended last year.

    1. That is a shame, Sami! This one’s been running a long while. Some years we hardly get to visit any- depends on how far away they are and whether we’re busy that weekend. There’s always something to admire. 🙂 🙂

  17. Loved all your photos here Jo. And what a gorgeous little church. I went for a long walk today with my sister in the rain but for a change I took not even one photo. Oh well, next time. Have a great week. 🙂

  18. Umm love those lush gardens!
    There are some cottages with roses around the doors close to my place as well… i always wanted to photograph them, but never found the moment 😉 Will definitely soon!
    Thanks for sharing! Have a great week

  19. Nine glorious gardens, plenty of delicious food and beautiful craftwork – what a wonderful day you had, Jo. The flowers are gorgeous. I’ve never tried lacework. It looks so complicated. But I do admire the finished products.

      1. I did a years evening classes of Honiton lace when I was in my twenties and only produced a small flower and a leaf, it was interesting to do, a real patience tester and it made me appreciate the work of the women you made it when candle light was all there was. Wish I knew what happened to my bobbins.

    1. It was, as Meg says, a bit of a marathon, Sue, but there was so much to see and enjoy. You and Meg would have been fine on a bench with a cuppa. (I’ll visit you later- almost on my way out of the door 🙂 ) Yay! Rafa! 🙂 🙂

  20. What a marathon of garden-visiting, and all with something amazing to offer. Yet again I’m fixated on the first thing I saw, that lovely robin: but there are plenty of more than acceptable flowers, lacemakers (what an art there is to wielding all those thingummies), and that rose-wreathed cottage. Thank you for another lovely walk, although I doubt I could’ve kept up.

    1. Just the thought of getting my thumbs tangled in those threads, Meg…. 😦 We’d have left you on a bench, chatting companionably over a cuppa. No hurry! 🙂 🙂

    2. Meg reckons we would have been OK on a bench, with a nice cup of tea! Not quite the same thing, though! I can’t see you worn out, given the amount of ground you covered in Warsaw….

      1. Well yes! I pace myself drastically these days, as you know, and the distance to cover to get to all those gardens would TOTALLY defeat me! Look at my pathetic showing at that old area in Warsaw (name escapes me)

    1. I thought you might like that, Andrew! Have you ever been? There’s a YouTube video that takes you over the bridge but it was a bit lacklustre and I liked the ticket collector. 🙂 🙂

      1. Never been Jo. I am going North this weekend, staying first in Bishop Auckland for a night then a caravan for the weekend at Whitley Bay. Sun newspaper vouchers make it such good value. I have made a note of some of your suggestions but our final itnerary depends upon the weather!

      2. Some of my friends have done Whitley Bay on vouchers and enjoyed it. Keeping fingers crossed for your weather. If you get chance go up to Seaton Delaval Hall. It’s only a couple of miles up the coast. 🙂

  21. What a walk you have given us this week, Jo. Gardens galore, and I love that cheery robin. Needless to say, the cake element comes as no surprise to us followers! Have a fun week.

    1. I have to say I was almost too worn out to raise a teacup by the end of it. All that eating and chatting, Debs! 🙂 🙂 But it was an excellent aftrenoon.

  22. We have an Open Garden scheme in Bexhill…I’m always so impressed with what people achieve, and their hard work. And the money goes to good causes too! Love the photos, have a great week Jo.

    1. Hi Tanya! Lovely to hear from you. I was wondering if all was well 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much! Off walking, in the gloom, soon but at least it’s not raining…yet 🙂

    1. Wondering how they get these Mercedes to breed,
      do they become plants like seeds or are they cuttings. 😀

      So beautiful captured,
      yes agree “they all had something to love”. 🙂

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