Sunday was chilly but very bright, and thankfully with no rain, a change over the previous few days’ conditions. I had booked a late morning National Gardens Scheme visit to Babbs Farm, near Highbridge, described thus in the blurb: ¾ acre plantsman’s garden on Somerset Levels, gradually created out of fields surrounding old farmhouse over last 30 yrs and still being developed. Trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials planted with an eye for form and shape in big flowing borders. Various ponds (formal and informal), box garden, patio area and conservatory.

I was delayed on my half-hour drive over the Somerset Moors, also known as the Levels.

But not for long. When I arrived at Babbs Farm, (no sign of any farming going on), I learnt that it was only in the last few days that it had been resolved as to whether the garden would open. The owners provided a plan, drawn up in 2019, when refreshments and other facilities were available, not possible this year of Covid.

The entrance could not be where it normally is on open days, because recent storms had determined otherwise.

Basically, I walked anti-clockwise round the garden, starting at the Field of trees and ending up at the Ditch bed, opposite which there was a specialist stall for the sale of Salvias, which had figured prominently in the planting. I had no idea there were so many different and rare varieties, and I only wished I had some space in my own garden for some of them. (I took no photos of the stall as there was a family milling around, trying to decide what to buy.)

Field of trees
Jack’s Pond
Round pond
There’s a font in the shade
Round pond from a different angle
Round lawn
Lion pond, at the edge of the Patio
A Salvia I imagine
At the back, the privet hedge
and through to the Box garden
A tempting gate at the end of the Wall bed
A seat too tempting…
… with a delightful aspect

And I’m back near the Field of trees. But I must turn right and return to the car park, in Pam’s field, bequeathed to the owners.

What a very pleasant visit, and I was nothing like as cold as I had anticipated. Will there be another NGS visit this year, I wonder, as a rather dreary winter beckons.