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Arthur's Blog: The Pottery Gardener

 

I’m very excited to tell you all that my book ‘The Pottery Gardener Flowers and Hens at the Emma Bridgewater Factory’ is going to be released on the 19th of March 2018. This is my first book and it is close to my heart as it’s a memoir of my time working at the factory and of looking after the walled garden here. The pages are filled with photos and profiles about the gardens most characteristic plants that form the seasonal displays and of the essential bees and butterflies that their flowers in turn attract and support. The photos, that I have taken from the start of me working in the garden show this unique space as it goes through the seasons. I’ve tried to put in lots of tips to help inspire you to have a go at growing the mentioned plants at home in your own gardens and there’s plenty of material to get you to consider the merits of chicken keeping too. The book means that anyone whom can’t come to visit, can see an insight into this unique garden but I do hope that it will encourage anyone whom hasn’t visited to indeed visit us this year. 

The garden will be open from late March. I’m busy getting everything looking fresh and ready for the growing season ahead having just finished a long and very tall silver birch tunnel that will be eclipsed by June with the scent of climbing sweet peas. The flower beds are being titivated and mulched over. The hens are still up in their pent house like greenhouse enjoying the winter sun. They are becoming quite the feature for visitors whom go on a factory tour as they can be viewed through the sponge decorating rooms windows. The wallflowers are looking bushy and are of a very healthy green standing in their rows along the edges of the flower beds awaiting to be joined by the tulips, but these seem a long way off as its bitterly cold here. In the galvanised bins, the first flowers of the year are blooming though in the form of Cadbury wrapper purple iris reticulata which are a very welcomed sight to behold, a new dawn is on the horizon! Top tip at the moment is to remember that while it may be cold, your pots of bulbs may be a bit on the dry side so make sure you start to water them every few weeks from March onwards, especially if we have a dry spring like last year. 

Best wishes Arthur 

What to expect from the Walled Garden in 2018
– Don’t miss this year’s Seasonal floral highlights – 

- LATE MARCH - Islands of flowering crocus, Iris and hyacinth bulbs in the galvanised bin planters will coronate the gardens opening for the coming season which will be on Saturday the 17th of March, the garden will then be open every day until the end of October. My Buff Cochin hens and smaller Buff Pekin bantams with platoon like feathered legs will be on show in the garden hen coop throughout the spring and summer. 

- LATE APRIL TO EARLY MAY - will see a tulip extravaganza eclipse the courtyard and garden with the beds and planted bins bursting with a sultry riot of tulips and highly scented wallflowers. 

-LATE MAY TO EARLY JUNE - a nectar rich, sparkler display of lilac and blue from flowering alliums will succeed the tulips as spring progresses into summer, these will clash with the foxgloves, phlox and poppies. 

- MID JUNE – EARLY AUGUST – the longest and tallest sweet pea tunnel ever created between the raised beds will form a beckoning corridor of perfume. Once they begin to bloom. 

-MID JUNE – LATE SEPTEMBER For summer, the garden is going to be planted with a carnival of annual cosmos. All will be varieties that have blooms of deep pinks and scarlets along with equally jazzy single flowering and anemone dahlias which will create a dazzling feast for the eyes and encourage bees and butterflies into the heart of the factory along with a supporting cast of flowering cottage garden perennials. 

-MID SEPTEMBER TO END OF OCTOBER - A display of hanging gourds will take over from the sweet peas, creating an autumnal feel as the dahlias, gladioli, sunflowers, seeding grasses and salvias reach their peak of flowering before the garden closes for the year after Halloween.