Biddulph Grange Gardens
The gardens at Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire have been described as a quirky, playful paradise. The gardens were attached originally to Biddulph Grange Farm, a large estate near Stoke on Trent.
Since then it has had a chequered history. The original house burnt down but was rebuilt and for many years it was used as a hospita. It is the fifteen acre gardens, created by James Bateman in the Victorian era that people come to see.
James Bateman was not only a keen plantsman but his father owned one of the biggest nurseries in the country. James was also fortunate in his friendship with seascape painter Edward William Cooke and between them they collected expensive and exotic plants from far and wide.
The result is a large and remarkable garden divided into various distinct areas devoted to different regions of the world which come complete with appropriate buildings. There is, for instance, an Egyptian garden containing two sphinxes, a Japanese garden with pagoda, an Italian garden, a Scottish Glen, a Cheshire Cottage and so forth.
Other features include the first Stumpery in the UK, built in 1856. These contain diseased or storm damaged trees and by growing some ferns - always popular with Victorians - amongst them and calling them Stumperies, canny landowners saved themselves the cost of removal!
Biddulph Grange Gardens are open every day and are a great hit with keen gardeners and eager children.
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