Bloomtime

Gardeners Clarey and Barney Wrightson are opening up their manor house nursery for pick-your-own flower days this summer

Great British growing is being brought back to life at Manor Garden near Darlington.

And this summer you will be able to grab a jamjar or your favourite vase and head along to a pick-your-own day with a difference.

Manor Garden is the home of Clarey and Barney Wrightson.

The gardens make up the grounds of an Arts and Crafts manor house built in 1909 that lies in the hamlet of Eryholme.

It is a property that has been in the family of Barney Wrightson for generations – his great-grandfather built it – and he and wife Clarey now call it home – and the base for their plant and flower business, Manor Garden.

The ethos of their (literally) growing business is one of eco-friendly, gorgeous, traditional flowers which grow, row-upon-row in their garden and are used by Clarey for her own displays and in her florist studio for workshops and seasonal events.

This summer she will host open days where you can pick your own flowers straight from the garden, the perfect pastoral pastime.

‘Sown and Grown in the North East’ is their message and they are part of a community spreading the message about home-grown and indigenous English flowers.

Says Clarey: “Our cutting gardens are full of beautiful scented flowers and foliage. We grow old favourites like cornflowers and sweet peas alongside more unusual blooms such as succulents and clematis. We mix these in with herbs and a sprinkling of foraged wild things. We are passionate about British blooms and spreading the word about locally-grown flowers.”

While Barney gets to grips with the heavy digging side of things, Clarey works her magic in the studios and the Manor Garden as she cultivates new varieties, plants traditional British flowers and works with the seasons
to create all kinds of arrangements from pretty wedding posies to dramatic floral arches to dazzling festive mantlepiece displays or the ultimate vintage village hall event.

“We ask brides to come to the garden if they can the year before their wedding day then they can really see what is growing and know that the flowers will be ready at the same time next year. They can take a posy of the flowers they will have for their wedding and it helps it all become a bit more real.”


Pick Your Own days are happening in August. Details of these and Clarey’s workshops | manorgarden.co.uk

Related Stories

  • BEAUTIFUL - THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL

    BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, THEATRE ROYAL

    WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Carole King, the woman whose songs offer up a soundtrack to the life of pretty much everyone in this audience. As a teenager King, with partner...
  • FESTIVE HAPPENINGS

    FESTIVE HAPPENINGS IN THE NORTH EAST

    CHRISTMAS MARKET Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland 17, 18 & 19 NOVEMBER Auckland Castle’s formal garden is transformed into a festive shopper’s haven this November, as the venue’s popular Christmas...
  • LUMIERE

    THE BRIGHT STUFF: LUMIERE

    The largest light festival in the UK will brighten up the winter nights with a spectacular array of colourful lights and dazzling displays. Iconic landmarks such as Durham Cathedral,...
  • WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK

    WHAT’S ON THIS WEEK

    FOR MUSIC… 15 NOVEMBER The coolest of trios are returning from the 80s pop scene this week for a one-night-only performance at Newcastle City Hall. Ruffle up your hair,...