Coton Manor in Coton, Northamptonshire is one of MY favorite gardens. I have even gone as far as to buy a season ticket, so much do I enjoy this garden and it's plantings.
"Originally laid out in the 1920's by the grandparents of the present owner, the garden has been developed and extended by successive generations capitalising on its natural setting, attractive views and abundant water. " literature from Coton Manor
The rich yellow stone walls of the house are literally coated in roses and an enormous wisteria with a raised patio skirting the house and flooded with pots of brilliant coloured geraniums. What a welcome and it certainly entices you to chose your direction carefully because there are at least 3 to chose from. I have a preferred route but tbh I usually head away from any other visitors as quickly as possible. Disappointingly Coton Manor now forbid the use of tripods - same old reason yawn. which of course on a grey damp day like the day I visit makes it all but impossible to take a good distance shot. They rather smugly point out that all the website images are taken without a tripod, I, rather impolitely want to point out to them that they have the lucky position of being there all the time and can whip out a camera whenever it suits them and especially when the weather is fine! I have to drive nearly 80 mins to get there and though it may be fine at home and forecast fine there sometimes IT RAINS and we have to try to make the best of it. Out of over 350 shots taken about half are blurred due to weather induced low light. Whinge over.
The dell gardens falling down the backside of the gardens are glorious in their damp shady conditions. At their best in the rain I have to say. Breathtaking planting and inspiring combinations. I do like seeing how it progresses and am amazed at the transformation since end of April when it was all but bare, now it is cheek by jowl planting and greenery/puple-ery.
The wildlife is a flamboyant as ever although the chooks apparently don't like the rain and scurry helter skelter across the lawn as the heavens open. The flamingos are less fussy and they stalk about munching in their orangey-ness.
Herbaceous borders are stuffed, a bit collapsed and being tied up and late 'chelsea chopped' as I glide about in my rain mac trying to protect my camera from the elements.
Then the nursery stuffed to the gunnels, more heaven.
What is not heaven is the lack of promised plant list and the apathy of the staff member about it's reproduction this season (let me say it is early July and they remain open until October!). So no plant list and no labels on plants.
For any garden opening to the public let me say this is a pet hate of many visitors, they do not care if you lose labels, that your plant list is out of date and someone forgot to reorder it, they have travelled to pay and see this garden they want to know what the damn plants (cultivar!) are!
Despite the grumps above this is a garden worth going out of your way to visit, and more than once if you can. STUNNING