The Site

The garden
Aerial photograph of the Honey Pot Flowers garden at Waverley c.2014

Honey Pot Flowers is located in the small hamlet of Lower Norton between Warwick and Henley in Arden in the heart of the Warwickshire Countryside.

The garden is about 1 acre in size and is at around 350ft above sea level sloping gently down hill in a south-westerly direction.  This does mean that the garden in bathed in sun throughout the day but is subject to south westerly winds as they blow up the shallow valley and across the fields beyond.

The soil conditions vary throughout the garden with some areas very dry and others continually damp.  This allows us to grow a wide range of different plants as long as we are very careful in exploring what each individual plant prefers.  We have learnt a lot over the years about what works and what does not.

Prior to setting up the garden in 1994 the site was meadow grazing although there is evidence of previous ridge and furrow cultivation especially in the orchard area.

Waverley Garden 1994
A blank canvas – the Waverley garden in 1994

We have about 2 feet of soil sitting on top of heavy (triassic) clay.  In the winter this means that the water table is very high and many parts of the garden are sodden and there is often standing water in some of the beds.  The top soil is very sandy and dries out quickly in the summer but over the years we have improved this by adding lots of organic matter from our own garden compost heaps.  Both the wet and the dry offer interesting challenges.  For example some of our large orchard trees have struggled to gain a deep foot hold and have ended up leaning badly (but are still very productive as you will see).

The garden is sheltered on all sides now by a range of tree species.  Many were planted in the early 90’s as part of a Warwickshire District Council hedgerow scheme.  The boundary hedgerow and copse trees include hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), hazel (Corylus avellana), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), oak (Quercus robur), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), lime (Tilia x europaea), field maple (Acer campestre) and holly (Ilex aquifolium).  As many are now over 25 years old these mature trees provide a wonderful range of habitats for different wildlife species.

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