are expanding just along the valley, allowing heirs such as James Bateman to indulge in a passion, and the world is shrinking as plant hunters forge their way into new continents in search of exotic species.
Imagine a man who can visualise not just vast garden rooms but micro-habitats into which his prized and rare plants, collected and brought from abroad, can be shown off and thrive to their full potential.
Imagine a rare friendship between James Bateman, a plant enthusiast, and a painter of seascapes, Edward William Cooke whose father owned one of the largest plant nurseries of the time.
And imagine a passion for trying something new - the Stumpery here was the first ever to be created, providing an ideal habitat for ferns, and the vision for the China Garden was drawn from the design of a simple blue and white Willow Pattern Plate.
Whether you prefer formal or informal gardens, one can't resist the pure creativity of this garden and how well it seamlessly links together.
The terrain has been manipulated in so many different ways – high stone walls shield plant collections and treasures from
prying eyes and harsh weather; tunnels link temples with shady dells; and straight paths carved through the once wooded hillside open up vistas. It is a masterpiece of illusion and creates an almost magical experience as each new turn reveals a truly different kind of garden.
Where am I? Biddulph Grange Gardens of course...read all about my visit on my 'Inspirational Visits' website page.