Open Gardens

Come and explore our hidden gardens

Come and explore the hidden gardens around the village

During the Barton Gardens Festival you will be able to visit 10 'Hidden Gardens' around the Village, so called because they are only open to public view for this one weekend of the year, as well as viewing and admiring the many other 'front gardens' throughout the village.

The 'Hidden Gardens' are a mixture of large and small, private gardens, loved and tended by their various owners.  You can admire the wide range of common and unusual plants and trees, meet your enthusiastic garden hosts  and maybe, take home a few ideas for your own garden.

Gardens and the Bus Service

Holders of a Gardens Festival Wristband can use the free bus service which will pick up and drop off visitors close to almost every Open Garden. Close means a maximum walk of 200 metres. There are 9 bus stops in the village; their location is indicated on the map in the middle of this programme on pages 18-19. The Bus stops are a Watering Can sign. There is no timetable for the bus, but traffic permitting  the bus will arrive every 30 minutes.  Garden 8 can only be reached by bus or on foot.

NB. Visitors to the outlying gardens are advised that it is not possible to go by car and the walk is long and up a steep hill.

A list of the open gardens on display


Garden 1

Imagine it’s January 2016, and the house building is finished, hard landscaping is under way and there is a plan to develop a mature looking, low maintenance garden as fast as possible (we don’t have 20 years to wait!) What we start with is rubble and heavily compressed soil.   Fast forward to 2017, we have an unfinished but mature looking garden by creating sunny and shaded areas using our favourite trees, evergreen plants, grasses, flowers, structures and seating areas giving us enormous pleasure in its creation, plus a few aches and pains too! Part Wheelchair access.


Garden 2

Ours is a garden on different levels. There is a large sunken patio with steps up to a lawn and a gravel path with large herbaceous borders on either side containing many varied shrubs. There is also a raised pond where you can meet “Big Dan” and his mates who will tell you that they are never fed! The front garden features a large ornamental pond with more fish and a waterfall. Large impressive trees overlook part of the garden and make planting a challenge. Due to steps and uneven pathways our garden will not be suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. Please be aware there is deep water in both the front and back gardens. Don’t Fret an acoustic guitar group will be playing in the garden on Sunday afternoon from 2.30pm. .


Garden 3

A traditional style garden in keeping with the 1930s house. There are flower beds, a small vegetable patch and a trellis with arch. In keeping with the traditional style garden you will find roses and herbaceous plants. Miniature acers form part of the scene around an unusual feature - a garden railway complete with engines, carriages and Fred’s snack bar which is unfortunately too small to serve real frankfurters. The trains run over a very small pond with two very large fish which are almost too large now for the pond. If you listen carefully you can hear them complaining.  You will also find an outdoor pizza oven which is also a garden feature. Lichfield Branch of Majestic will be holding a wine tasting in our garden at 36 Efflinch Lane on the Saturday from 1-6. There is wheelchair access to the first half of the garden. In the front drive is a 1933 Chevrolet Master Eagle to admire.


Garden 4

Tim and Stephney have lived at Croft House for 30 years and developed their garden over this time. Initially, due to the constraints of growing children, it operated as a football and cricket pitch, cycle trail and den building site.  In the last ten years it has been completely redesigned and now has lawns, herbaceous borders, a wildlife area, a vegetable section and paved areas with small water features. There are lots of seats, and there is good wheelchair access to most areas. Stephney and a group of her friends (the ‘Zebra Beaders’) will be exhibiting and demonstrating beadwork in the garden. This year Tim and Stephney will have books for sale, in aid of Stephney’s support for the British Heart Foundation in memory of her sister Mary.


Garden 5

We have only lived here for seven months, so this is a new garden to us and it is also new to Barton Gardens Festival. The back garden is accessed via the gravelled front drive and through the garage and utility room. Once into the garden there is a large patio area by the house with a trellised arbour down one side that has seating and pots of hostas and herbs. From the patio there are three steps that take you to a raised lawn flanked by boarders stocked with shrubs and herbaceous plants. At the end of the garden there is a low wicket fence with a gate that leads you to a secret garden with seating, a rockery and wild life area that backs onto to fields beyond. This garden is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.No dogs allowed due to own pets.


Garden 6

A large varied and interesting family garden, some of which is well established and some which is relatively new after a beech hedge was removed and new borders created six years ago. Planting is of mixed shrubs and herbaceous perennials, fruit trees and vegetable section and an interesting water feature.  Paul Bellamy will be demonstrating his wood turning. There is a display about the development of Packington Pork. Wheelchair access is limited.


Garden 7

Fame at last!!  The Gardeners World programme showing our garden in Autumn colour finally went out last October, followed by over 1,000 people visiting on our charity open day for St Giles Hospice in November. Well Monty said he was impressed anyway.  Many local people gave up and went home as they couldn’t park! So now is your chance to visit us on quieter days during the Barton Garden Festival.  There are more than Acers to see, with perennials and ornamental grasses featuring in our new planting schemes and a history of how the garden evolved if you want to know.  Michele has propagated lots of Zantedischias (Arum lilies) that will be for sale as they seemed very popular last year. We are a little way out of the village in Woodhouses, but the bus will get you here and back from the village. It’s worth the effort. There is a gravel drive but once that has been negotiated much of the garden can be accessed by wheelchair.


Garden 8

The first plants were put in to the ground, newly cleared of mature trees and their roots, only a year ago.  The garden area is surrounded by woodland and meadow on all sides and is planned to sit harmoniously in those surroundings.  I took for my inspiration Piet Oudolf, a Dutch designer whose gardens are planted in swathes and waves, big and bold.  Grasses and perennials predominate, which means the garden is at its best in high Summer and Autumn, whereas the woodland comes to life in early Spring when primroses and daffodils make a wonderful show, followed by bluebells. The garden surrounds a substantial pond that has, over the last year, become home to various water insects, dragonflies, newts and frogs.  Many ‘wild’ areas and hibernaculum have been created to encourage the wildlife. Plants have been chosen to support the declining bee and butterfly populations. Bird and bat nesting boxes and feeding stations have also been provided.  There will be an opportunity to buy the various perennials and shrubs featured in the garden including many roses. The house and garden are up a single track lane from the main street so it is not possible to take your own vehicle. The bus will transport you from the village and back or walk up the drive from the main road about 500 metres.  


Garden 9

We have been in living in our home for over thirty years and in that time our garden has evolved from being rather plain to a varied mix of different planting. The garden has undergone yet further changes in the last year and the new walled area is becoming more established with herbaceous plants settling in. Also, we now have a recently constructed arbour in our shady area, plus the addition of a new arch that has been planted up in recent weeks. John's Austin Healey is still in the process of being renovated, however progress has been good and those of you who had seen it last year should see quite a difference. Garden is mostly wheelchair friendly.


Garden 10

Welcome to our mature garden, overlooking farmland to the rear.  Herbaceous and perennial plants are to be found bordering the neat lawns.  Sweet peas, fragrant smelling roses and clematis climb the trellises.  Last year unfortunately we lost our Acer Garnet after 40 years, so some replanting with more delphiniums has taken place.  Hanging baskets on the pergola contain tumbling tomatoes and flowers, along with many floral tubs which are a delight.  A stumpery with many unusual hostas and ferns are on the shady side of the garden.  There will be plants for sale including many miniature hostas and heucheras.  This garden will open at 12.00 for you to enjoy a delicious lunch, snacks or afternoon tea, with homemade cakes and desserts, served in the conservatory of the garden.  To reserve a table ring 01283 716291. All proceeds from the plants and refreshments go to Diabetes UK Wheelchair access and on road parking is available. This will be our last year of opening. We look forward to your support.

The Vicarage

Six years ago the Vicarage Garden was a field surrounded with brambles and bracken. It was divided in two by a tall beech hedge, eight feet wide and as high as the house. Before we moved in the hedge was removed. Since then we have cleared all the brambles and bracken and slowly added flower beds and a small amount of trellising and fencing. This year’s project has been to clear and seed the area under the oak tree and form a flower bed with a woodland feel. The garden has been created on a budget and most of the plants are cuttings from our previous garden or have been generously donated by friends and neighbours. The green house and raised vegetable beds were built by our boys, and are productive. The garden continues to evolve and it is very much a work in progress. Come and enjoy teas and homemade cakes in the garden with music provided by Barton Fiddle Folk.