The Poulton Hall website
The gardens are open to the public twice annually under the National Gardens Scheme.
During the winter months there have been changes to the Japanese Garden. We have been influenced by the ancient traditions of Shinto and Zen gardens and inspired to create our interpretation . The Japanese garden tradition grew from Shinto symbolism. The Shinto religion had an empathy with the forces of nature, the seasons and the landscape. Water was a purifying agent. Later, there were the gardens of Zen Buddhist temples where the Karesansui style of dry landscape gardening developed. Here the presence of water is suggested by rocks and gravel arranged to symbolise seas, islands, mountains and rivers.
Cherry blossom, azaleas, camellias and bamboo represent the acceptance of the natural cycle, in contrast to the seemingly never-changing character of the rocks. Other plants to note are the Heavenly Bamboo (nandina domestica) and Fatsia Japonica, often found amongst the greenery of Japanese Gardens. Our bridge is red, a Chinese influence, which we could not resist, wonderfully vibrant in winter frost. A stone lantern recalls the lights in the ancient tea gardens.
There are three stone basins. Two hold miniature landscapes and the third represents the traditional water basin, here guests would rinse their hands in a ritual ablution.
Chinese and Japanese traditions have influenced us in creating the garden, but we have also expressed ourselves. We hope visitors will look at the rocks and gravel and imagine timeless landscapes on a grander scale, as we do, and find some pleasure or contentment there.
At the end of the garden, newly landscaped by Linda and Yorkie of Griffs Garden, you may sit on the slate seats near the 'blue' bed tended by Beryl Gregory and look at the garden made by Mue Benson which is Dave's Garden.
In Dave's Garden we celebrate the richness of life inspired by our friendship with David Gregory. Here there is a sense of warmth, fun and curiosity. His bicycle wheel represents his contact with his community, and is symbolic of the wheel of life. His cobbler's last reminds us of his ability and eagerness to repair objects and help people.
It is no exaggeration to say that Dave was interested in everyone and everything, but his view of life was influenced by his connections with India and Sri Lanka. Buddha sits in the shade of the trees. Visitors are welcome to follow the path to the stone seat and stay a while.
The glowing colours of India and Sri Lanka - red, orange, purple, yellow - are represented by red penstemons, crocosmia Lucifer, lobelia cardinalis, callistemon (bottle brush), purple and blue salvias, verbena bonariensis, heliotrope, tradescantia with the yellow fremontodendron and phlomis. Annual visitors, red and black poppies and cosmos which wave in the wind, intermingle happily with the permanent residents. The large catalpa (Indian bean tree) and the precious trillium (toadshade) are just beginning to settle.
Shiny baubles, crafted creatures from foreign lands and an Indian Elephant also occupy the happy place that is Dave's Garden.
Richard's Garden a simple circular brick plinth finished with slate on which rests the steel sculpture.
Natures Breeze: Inspired by observational studies of of the yucca and cordyline plants.
"Vision" The second piece, reflecting Richard's great passion for Sherlock Holmes , was influenced by a magnifying glass.
"Contemplation" The third piece, a seat, creates a place for repose and reflection.
These contemporary sculptures have been realised through the medium of stainless steel, a material which portrays characteristics of strength, stability and the clean, crisp lines of modernity.
The Witch's Garden, where a cut out figure of the witch flying on her magic broomstick is attached to the wall, while her ordinary broomstick, a cat and a bat can be seen below. The plants are black and purple, with the black strap-leaves of Ophiopogon, black Pansies and the dark-leaved Rheum among them.
The Pirate Ship (recalling Roger Lancelyn Green's fondness for J.M Barrie's Peter Pan - in which he acted and about which he wrote a definitive stage history).
The Sword in the Stone, made by Sean Rice (now best known for the Stations of the Cross made for the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool). This recalls Roger Lancelyn Green's influential book about King Arthur.
In the Conservatory there are pictures of the gardens taken before and during the restoration, and the millennium Lancelyn Green Textile Hanging, designed by Su Jones. This is an original work in three panels reflecting some of the history of the house and interests of the inhabitants.
In 2001 a special sundial garden for the visually impaired, designed by Judith Railton, was installed in the Walled Garden with help from the Rotary Club of Bebington. It has been newly replanted by Chris Davis. Its theme is taken from an original children's book by Roger - The Land of the Lord High Tiger. The characters of Leo, Foxy, Squit Squirrel and the Phoenix from the story can be seen on the bench carved by Jim Heath, and a life size wizard, made by Leigh Stanley, presides over the sundial.
The gardens were selected as the Cheshire Life Garden of the Year in 2001 and in 2002 the garden celebrated 21 years
of opening in aid of the Scheme. We are very grateful to our gardeners, and especially to those who take on so much voluntary weeding and planting,
who tend the front lawns, wild-flower meadow and shrubbery, do the teas, and organise the parking.