Friday, July 19, 2013

Hare Hill Gardens

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.



Hope you all have a happy weekend.

24 comments:

  1. I love this walk Rosie and I would have headed for a shady woodland walk as well. The gardens are so pretty. So many hare sculptures too.
    Patricia x

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    1. It was lovely under the trees! As much as I love the warmer weather I have to be careful in the direct sun so I like to stay sheltered if possible:)

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  2. Beautiful garden and I loved the rabbits, you're right, rather simple names for the bunnies.

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    1. I would have like more magical or celestial names for them for some reason but the children there liked the names they could relate too:)

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  3. This looks lovely, many years ago I used to live in Alderley Edge and never knew this was here.

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    1. It is a hidden gem a few miles away from the main village. I'm always amazed the Alderley Edge itself is still classed as a village:)

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  4. Wonderful hare sculptures but the names don't quite fit. It reminds me of when people call their cat or dog 'Colin' most strange!!! Have a lovely weekend hopefully with a cooling breeze!!! x

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    1. It's a lot cooler here today with just a sprinkling of rain in the air - so refreshing. Some relatives of mine took on a jack russell from a rescue shelter it was called John - I always thought that was as od name for a dog:)

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  5. This looks like a magical woodland walk in the shade. A good friend lives in Alderley Edge and I shall put this place on my wishlist if I ever get over to see her instead of her coming to see me. I'm also fascinated by the Alan Garner books based on the legend of the Edge.

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    1. I remember when I was very much younger and working behind the scenes in a book shop where we supplied bulk orders to libraries I had to type out 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' many times a day! I hope you get to see the garden when you next visit your friend:)

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  6. It makes me feel cooler just looking at the photographs. The foxglove is beautiful.

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    1. The photos taken under the trees do look quite cool. They had some lovely foxgloves in differing colours as well as many of the usual purple ones:)

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  7. what a lovely place to visit - somewhere to put on my list! Shade is essential at the moment. It was 35 degrees around 10am here today, I've not coped well at all today - it's nice to have summer for a change but we're not used to these temperatures!

    Your photos are lovely and this was an interesting read. I wonder if these Brocklehursts are the same Brocklehursts from Swythamley Hall, who origianlly owned the wallabies and other animals.

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    1. Yesterday - Saturday - was my worst day even though it was slightly cooler, I just felt dizzy and lifeless all day - more though lack of sleep because of the hot nights more than anything else. I wonder if it is the same family as it seems to be a local 'ish' name:)

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  8. I have to admit I am loving the hot weather, but my office is air conditioned so that helps. These gardens look lovely and Ive never heard of them. Were we in the same vacinity at the same time? xxxx

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    1. How lovely to have an air conditioned office. I love the long dry days but could do with cooler nights to sleep with. The gardens are small but lovely and make a good visit combined with the circular walk to The Edge. I think we were there the week before you on the Thursday - it has taken me a week to pull this post together!!:)

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  9. Nice to know one of the hares was named after me - oh that woodland walk - give me shade - it has been sooooo hot I have been reading under the shade of my little willow - bliss.

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    1. Ha! Yes, you have your own hare:) I seem to have spent the last few days sitting reading in the shade as it is too hot to do anything in the house or garden:)

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  10. The woodland walk does look a lovely, cool place to be at the moment. I like the labels on the Hares, I wonder why they haven't found names for them all. The foxglove is beautiful.

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    1. When we were walking around one of the gardeners told us that all the hares had names but I wonder if some of the lables had been taken away for some reason as a few of the sculptures were being treated with some sort of special wood conditioner:)

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  11. Are the hare sculptors a new addition I wonder? I don't remember them at all but I haven't visited for ages. I hope this weather lasts a while longer although it does make it hard to do anything energetic.

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    1. I think they have been put in over the last year or two! They are quite charming. For a whole week I've hardly done anything but today one or two jobs have got done as apparently it will be warm again tomorrow:)

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