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 |