We were pleasantly surprised by the gardens at Biddulph Grange. It is a fascinating place with its distinctive areas and collections of plants from all over the world brought together by James and Mary Bateman. This enchanting place took shape from 1842 with the help of horticulturalist Robert Fortune. For example there is a Larch tree which was brought from China in 1850 and is still going strong. The “garden rooms” range from a re-creation of a Himalayan glen, a Chinese Temple and bridge, an Egyptian “tomb” guarded by a couple of sphinxes,an Italian terrace and various stone garden ornaments.
It is not suitable for people in wheelchairs because of the various steps, tunnels and narrow paths. The main building is not open, apart from the dining room, which used to be an operating theatre! Biddulph Grange was used as a hospital during the war. We did of course buy something to eat and drink to eat outside in the sun – as you can see by the photo, we ate three cakes between two people!
On the day we visited the Dahlia Walk was in full bloom. This was bays composed of yew hedging with tiers of different coloured dahlias in gradients overlooked by a Venetian window. Another oddity is the Stumpery – a path bordered by upside down tree roots containing mosses and ferns. Then there are an amazing variety of trees, avenues and flower-filled paths. The garden is a true delight!