Biddulph Grange Garden
The National Trust’s Biddulph Grange garden is based in Staffordshire; a mere 40 – minute drive from our guesthouse in Buxton and is well worth a visit for all garden lovers. With its famous Chinese garden, dahlia walk, an Egyptian garden, and a half-timbered Cheshire cottage among many of its fascinating features, these make visiting Biddulph Grange a veritable sensory feast – a real treat for an alternative day out.
The China garden, arguably the most stunning aspect of Biddulph Grange features a Chinese temple, a pagoda, together with a bridge, (pictured below) a joss house, a ‘Great Wall’ and a tower.
The China garden is described as ‘a series of criss-crossing vistas from one architectural feature to another’. Its bright colours of both the temple and the bridge opposite shimmer their reflections on the lake below.
You may also spot one or two of Waterhouse-Hawkins’ sculptures here. Look out for the sacred water buffalo underneath a Chinese canopy appearing to be surveying the whole scene of the garden. Keep an eye out too for another of Waterhouse-Hawkins’ sculptures – this time of a frog, the size of a wheelbarrow!
There is an array of Chinese plants to admire, including the Chinese golden larch, a deciduous conifer brought to Biddulph in 1854 by Robert Fortune. He travelled to China to seek out plants and agricultural systems that could be incorporated into British gardens. It is thanks to Robert Fortune that many of the plants in the Chinese garden exist today for our delight.
The Pinetum at Biddulph Grange
Described as a collection of conifers ranging from pines, monkey puzzles, firs, spruces, and cedars, you enter the garden here via a curved stone tunnel, simply adding to the surprise and delight at what is described as ‘one of the richest collections of conifers from mid-Victorian England’.
The gravel paths invite you to meander, observing the different shapes and heights of the pinetum, an altogether different, more muted, and peaceful walk, after the vibrancy and energy of the China garden.
The Dahlia walk at Biddulph Grange Garden
The dahlias are displayed here flanked between yew hedging to give a most dazzling display of riotous colour from June to September. They are planted in early June once the fear of any early frost has well and truly passed and are at their most spectacular in September.
Towards the end of October and the ending of their season, the dahlias are replaced by a mixture of spring bulbs to provide wonderful colour again.
The Egypt garden at Biddulph Grange Garden
Spending the day here cannot be complete without a visit to the rather quirky Egypt garden where the entrance to the tunnel is guarded by two stone sphinxes.
The entrance leads to a somewhat darkened passageway, guiding you through more doorways until you find a small chamber illuminated by a red stained-glass panel above. You will see here another example of Waterhouse-Hawkins’ sculptures – the monkey-god Troth, sat in a Buddha-like pose, but with the head of a baboon.
It is said that many of his sculptures created for Biddulph Grange offer a curious light-heartedness and this one is certainly no exception.
For those inspired by the wide range of plants and flowers on display, there is of course an opportunity to visit the outdoor plant sale too
All in all, Biddulph grange garden can most definitely be described ‘a masterpiece of Victorian garden design – a quirky, playful paradise’.
For more information about opening times, prices, facilities and how to get there just click here to visit their website.
For more inspiration of places to visit whilst staying with us in Buxton just visit our website by clicking here.
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