Tomorrow (Saturday) sees the opening of a charming new garden shop back home in Northamptonshire. You’ll find Foxtail Lilly, in the lovely garden of Tracey Mathieson, a garden enthusiastically written up in The Garden, the monthly magazine of the Royal Horticultural Society. You can download a copy of the article here.
The informal garden, with views across the meadows towards the River Nene, is always worth a visit and Tracey’s light touch allow plants to self sow and create surprising associations around and amongst her more carefully planned plantings. Everywhere you look there’s something interesting to see, with traditional cottage garden plants blending with the latest varieties.
Tracey’s speciality (apart from her cheerful enthusiasm for her garden, shop and all things horticultural) is hand-tied bouquets, large and small – created wherever possible from flowers from her own country garden. Now, with the opening of her shop, she’s also offering a choice range of the plants growing in the garden along with zinc planters, French garden chairs, carefully selected crafts by local craftspeople, vintage ceramics and textiles, garden books, kithenalia – it’s not one of these places that’s stocked by a corporate buyer or a merchandiser from an anonymous wholesale supplier. Tracey selects everything herself.
Tucked away two hours north of London in the historic market town of Oundle, Northamptonshire – about half way between Kettering and Peterborough – there’s so much going on in within walking distance of Foxtail Lilly that you can easily spend the whole day in town. As well as a range of riverside walks and the country park, look out for (to pick just a few attractions) Simon Dolby’s Art Gallery, Geraldine Waddington’s antiquarian bookshop and gallery of wood engravings, Archie’s bistro, Beans coffee shop and Amps Fine Wines. You’ll find more information, including maps of local walks, at the Tourist Information Office in the town centre.
OK, I know, this reads a bit like press release! It’s just that it’s such a great garden and shop that I really hope you’ll go. Foxtail Lilly is open from 10am-5pm, Wednesday to Saturday. Find out more here.