Hare Hill is a small garden belonging to the National Trust which can be found in the village of Over Alderley in Cheshire. There is a circular two mile walk between the garden's car park and the other NT car park near The Wizard at Alderley Edge. We'd previously walked from there to The Edge and back ( I wrote a post about it in September 2008) but had never been in the garden so last week, after a visit to John Lewis near Wilmslow, we decided to stop and take a look.
It was a warm morning so we thought the sound of the woodland part of the garden was just what we were looking for. As it happens the weather today is far hotter than ever it was last Thursday who'd have believed it? I could do with being under those trees now!
The walk around the outer edges of the garden is known as the Woodland Walk and it is here that you can follow the trail and find all the sculptures of hares. There is also a bird hide and two or three ponds all linked by small wooden bridges and a rockery. The garden is noted for its rhododendron and azalea plants and also has a collection of hostas. Plenty of bright acid green ferns and tall, finger like foxgloves added to the feeling of cool and tranquillity in the dappled sunlight under the trees.
There are fourteen hare sculptures in all, thirteen of them in the garden and the fourteenth is by the stream on the circular walk. I did photograph them all and have put a selection in a collage. They are all carved from felled wood by local artist Ed Pilkington. Some of them had name tags and some didn't.
The hare sculpture bottom left of the collage is the first one to be put in the garden - its name is Steve. The one top right is Pat, the one top left is Mandy bottom right is David and the two boxing hares which are actually near the little coffee room are called Elaine and Phil. I was somehow expecting them to have more magical, mystical names. We wondered if they were actually names of some of the garden staff who were all very friendly and helpful.
In the centre of all this is the walled garden which is gated to stop the rabbits and hares (the real ones) getting in. In the walled garden there is room to picnic, plenty of large sized games, like badminton, croquet and tumble tower for children to play on the grass and some rather wonderful wire horse sculptures which were very difficult to photograph in the sunshine against the plants.
I loved the walled garden with its white pergola at one end. It was wonderfully shady under there.
Over the seat under the pergola is a plaque which tells how the garden came to be. It was apparently given to the Trust by Charles Douglas Fergusson Phillips Brocklehurst in memory of his twin brother Patrick Heron Phillips Brocklehurst who was killed in a riding accident in 1930. The Brocklehurst family lived at nearby Hare Hill Hall which is a private house.