Goodrich Village in South Herefordshire on the borders of the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean invite you to share a cup of tea and cake with friends online whilst taking a virtual tour of nine of their glorious gardens.

From the comfort of your own home, explore a wide variety of gardens in this south Herefordshire village set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and home to Goodrich Castle. Large or small, new or mature there are many hidden horticultural gems to discover and all have beautiful views, many of Coppett Hill, a local nature reserve with its wide variety of flora and fauna. A description of the gardens along with some of their fabulous photos can be found below.

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Huge thanks to all the local gardeners that have been involved and worked so hard to provide such spectacular footage.

Particular thanks to MarkG Photography for compiling the amazing video as well as providing the drone footage and many of the garden photos. Thanks, Mark, your efforts and attention to detail are hugely appreciated by all involved!

Thanks also to:

  • Local residents, Sue, Cathy and Jo for all the co-ordination and to all others that have volunteered their time to promote and make this virtual visit possible.
  • Local resident Phil for the accompanying music on the video
  • Local photographer, Lianne for ‘loaning’ her Goodrich photos for us to use. liannebowen@hotmail.com
  • The fundraising Team at St Michael’s Hospice for great support and encouragement at a hugely busy and challenging time.

Local resident, Jo Ward-Ellison, local award-winning garden designer who was organising the Goodrich Open Gardens event says: “A big thank you goes to all those who have worked hard to make the virtual event a reality. And of course, we hope very much that our gardens will be welcoming visitors for real next summer”.

Just ten years ago deer fencing was put up to enclose two acres of hillside on Coppett Hill above the River Wye with the idea to create a modern country garden in keeping with the local natural landscape. Home to designer Jo Ward-Ellison and her husband Roy the garden is predominately naturalistic in style with a contemporary feel and has a long season of interest. Features include grass hedges, a small orchard, a pond loved by wildlife, and a meadow and kitchen garden with fabulous views.  Some steep slopes, steps, uneven paths and a large unfenced pond but plenty of places to sit.  Featured in The English Garden Magazine and Country Living Magazine.

A pretty cottage garden, packed with flowers, fruit and vegetables. A network of narrow paths and hidden lawns allow you to enjoy surprising views of the cottage, garden and surrounding countryside. Steep, slippery and uneven paths and steps might make access to some areas difficult but whilst enjoying the garden, you will be able to listen to some live guitar music, played by Phil.

A mature garden, laid out in the 1920s by its then-artist owner, the watercolourist George Marks. The cottage has a natural woodland setting on Coppett Hill. The owners have an ongoing restoration plan for the garden to maintain the original structure and to garden organically to help wildlife. Walk through the yew arch and discover places to sit and enjoy the wonderful views. The garden has slopes, steps and uneven pathways.

A Mediterranean-meets-English Country garden on the slopes of Coppett Hill. Lovingly created with interestingly planted borders. Admire the splendid view west towards the hills of Wales as you walk around the back of the property. Plans are in place to develop other areas of the garden.

Recently restored hillside Edwardian garden with rockeries, herbaceous and shrub borders. Stunning views over Goodrich and towards the Brecon Beacons.

A short steep drive leads to a flat garden containing shrubs, herbaceous borders, pergola and a gravel garden. A raised vegetable plot, espaliered fruit trees and summer flower annuals in containers and pots can be admired when walking around the garden which wraps around the house. There are gravelled, grassed and paved paths.

The construction of the school nursery necessitated the re-siting of the school garden. A rundown, overgrown and uneven corner of the school field was selected and work began.  During the summer of 2019, the area was cleared and levelled, a retaining bank created, and the dead willow tree felled.  Gradually the garden began to take shape. Sheds, a polytunnel and greenhouse were erected.  Child-friendly raised beds appeared, and planting commenced.  The children of Goodrich Gardening Club have taken up the challenge of developing the area for the whole school to use, to learn, to relax and to enjoy.   The hard work and commitment of the children and everyone involved has been rewarded, as the garden has already been accredited with RHS Level 3 School Garden award.  The garden is in its infancy and what you will see on your visit is part of its journey.

The gardens of this 17th– Century house command wonderful views towards Coppett Hill and Symonds Yat.   Renovations have been ongoing since 2012. These include a new greenhouse, a vegetable garden with raised beds and the planting of new fruit trees. The overall design of the garden has however, been retained. There are extensive lawns and flower beds, which are set off by ancient stone buildings and hard landscaping. There are bee hives in the garden.

The Nutshell is a cottage garden set in about half an acre of land, created from scratch over the last 20 years on what was meadowland.  The garden is made up of different areas separated by herbaceous borders and rose arches.  There are many different peonies, delphiniums, geraniums, roses and an extensive collection of hostas.  The owner has a keen interest in propagation with many plants in two polytunnels. Other areas of interest include two wildlife ponds, a small orchard, free-range bantam chickens as well as a vegetable plot with greenhouses.