Many people are interested to know how the garden and nursery at Eastgrove came about.
In 1970 we were living in a first floor flat a mile and a half from the centre of Birmingham. We were perfectly happy, especially as we had the joy of an old Victorian garden which we whizzed into on an old wooden fire escape. This was our horticultural "apprenticeship".
As the flat went with Malcolm's job and we had been married for eleven years, we started to wonder whether we should be trying to buy a place of our own.
And so to cut a long story short the day came when we drove up to Eastgrove Cottage and were completely and irrevocably bowled over by it. The feeling of the place itself, the sweet perfumes in the garden, the peace and remoteness left us with no doubts at all. Five days later, many miles travelled, many stones turned and half a stone lighter we signed, thus avoiding the impending auction.
For five years we came every week-end on three buses with a twenty minute walk and two children in tow! It was a great adventure, but we only kept up with the garden promising ourselves that we would get to work on our gorgeous 17th century cottage. After about two years we knew that this place demanded our all, and we eventually took a deep breath in 1975 and moved completely, intending to start the nursery and take guests to keep body and soul together.
Taking guests disappeared after two seasons as the garden and nursery needed our every waking moment, as it still does! It wasn't long before we realised the tremendous interest in herbaceous perennials and knew that this was going to be our forte.
We were, and still are, completely obsessed with our life's work in this wonderful place. The garden is forever changing and developing - tumbling abundance is our overriding aim and a need for the cottage and garden to be "all of a piece", to be comfortable together. The cottage has no straight lines and so it is surrounded by a very curvy garden!
Eastgrove is in the heart of magnificent Worcestershire countryside and in 1984 we started to surround the garden with "The Glade" - too small to be called an Arboretum. This has made a wonderful transition from garden to countryside, and is an enormous source of pleasure to us and to our visitors. After a garden jam-packed with flowers it is peaceful and calming to sit amongst the trees. In 2004/5 we took over the cow's pasture and planted two acres as a real arboretum complete with "Ride" and grass "Labaryinth".
We do all our own propagating and are always endeavouring to introduce a greater range of plants for sale.
Every enterprise has to continually change and develope and we now seem to be veering ever more strongly into hardy subjects, and decreasing our tender perennials, which are so readily available everywhere.
It gives us great pleasure that people come to Eastgrove Cottage from all over the country and indeed from all over the world.
Garden Plant List About