A Garden from Scratch

Langdale in Offenham is the home of Sheila & Adrian James.

Having moved to our new home at Langdale in Offenham, Worcestershire in 2009, we were able to create a new garden from scratch. There had never been a cultivated garden at Langdale before we arrived, so we were lucky enough to be able to start from a blank canvas. The garden took four years to build, first opening for visitors in 2013.

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There were some specific features that we wanted to include in the design, as well as it being a space where we could grow as wide a range of plants as possible in a Worcestershire garden. There were two main design objectives. Firstly, that there would always be something of interest in the garden, whatever the season. And secondly, even though the site is naturally flat and relatively small, once mature the garden at Langdale would be a garden of rooms, a garden that you need to explore to discover what is there, a garden where you can lose yourself for a while.

When we laid out the garden at Langdale, we did so with the intention of opening it to visitors to raise money for charities, as we had done previously in our garden in Kidderminster. At Langdale we opened the garden to groups and also to the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Over the years we have raised a significant amount of money for national & local charities through the opening of our gardens. We thank all those visitors who have enabled us to do so, and hope you have enjoyed visiting our garden as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you.

We no longer open the garden at Langdale on a regular and formal basis. However, we may be tempted to open it from time to time on a “pop up” basis, raising money for a specific charity when we do so. If we do decide to do so, we will advertise open dates on the garden web site, as well as locally, so do keep an eye out for that, and we very much hope to see you in the garden then.

As well as being the under-gardener at Langdale, Adrian is a garden photographer and also gives garden & travel talks to groups. Visit Adrian's Photography website here ...

The Garden through the Seasons


The garden in Spring


The garden in Summer


The garden in Autumn and Winter


The garden in Winter

Links to local businesses we work with and are happy to recommend:-

The Art Pad

Wendy is a glass artist specializing in glass art for the garden. We feature some of her brilliant work at Langdale. By arrangement Wendy will open her studio in Offenham to groups.
Visit The Art Pad website ...

Cotswold Garden Flowers

Many of the plants growing at Langdale have been supplied by Cotswold Garden Flowers. The nursery at nearby Badsey sells a wide range of perennials, many of which are just that bit unusual. They will also do group visits to their nursery & garden.
Visit Cotswold Garden Flowers website ...


Langdale Autumn 2022

Lawn GardenFor a garden that wasn’t really designed with autumn in mind, things didn’t turn out too badly, did they? As the garden matures, autumn here just gets better. In fact, after the hot and desperately dry summer we had here, I did wonder if the foliage of deciduous shrubs and trees would just have had enough stress for one year, and just quickly and quietly drop without giving us much of a show. But nothing of it, in fact if anything the autumnal colour was better than ever. One view I particularly enjoy in late summer and all the way through autumn is the one looking through the border at the bottom of the Lawn Garden (photo left). In the foreground is Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ just getting ready for its amazing autumnal display. Immediately behind is a low growing hedge of Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’, this year’s lime green new growth above previous year’s darkest purple foliage. Next is the Rosemoor Border – the grasses there are particularly good at this time of year. Cotinus ‘Grace’And then on over the beech hedge to the large leaves of the foxglove tree, Paulownia tomentosa – we pollard this hard every spring to give us big leaves at the expense of the flowers. And to round off the view some choice trees in Sally’s Patch – visible here from left to right are Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Moonbeam’, Amelanchier ‘Ballerina’ and Fraxinus ‘Raywood’, all giving a lovely autumnal display.

Of all of the shrubs that you can plant for good autumn colour, I would still be putting money on Cotinus ‘Grace’. Been around for ages, but what’s wrong with that if it is so good I say! We have it planted in the corner where the long border in the Cottage Garden meets with the Blue Border, and at the point where we head off into the Salvage Garden. As the afternoon wears on it starts to be side-lit and then eventually backlit by the sun, and during those hours it simply glows like embers in a fire (photo right).


Succulents for sale

Celebrating our latest glass garden sculpture

One-off opening in July

Making change is a funny old thing...

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