It’s been several years since my last editorial about Stonyford Cottage Gardens & Nursery and a lot has been happening at this ‘gem of a place’ since then. I recently spent a lovely afternoon there and it was so enjoyable I almost forgot that I was working and had to prompt myself to take notes!

Although the address is Oakmere, near Northwich, this family run business is just outside Norley and you wouldn’t believe that this delightful oasis exists from the road. It really is a nature lovers dream, a gardeners dream and a cream tea lovers dream! I say that because the business can really be split into three parts - the wonderful new Tea Room, the Plant Nursery and the Beautiful Gardens.


I arrived at lunch time so my first visit had to be the Tea Shop, where Carol and Angie were busy in the spacious new kitchen that was installed just in time for Easter weekend.

As it was such a beautiful day, I chose to sit in the tranquil garden (not THE Gardens which some people that I’ve been talking to recently don’t realise are separate, situated behind the Tea room and Nursery). Surrounded by bird song and horses grazing just behind the shrubs, the only disturbance is the rumble of the train that passes by once an hour.

I thoroughly enjoyed my tasty lunch - a Jacket Potato fresh from the oven with Cheddar cheese, side salad and a dish of coleslaw which was delicious and just the job as Carol and I chatted and she ‘filled me in’ on the exciting developments and recent changes.

Stonyford has always been a popular ‘stop off’ for walkers and cyclists, hence, due to demand the Tea Room has expanded to provide more than just a ‘cuppa’ and cake. Located very close to the Whitegate Way and meters away from the new access route into Delamere Forest - the Oakmere Way, the new Tea Room is really coming into force. Horse riders are also very welcome to stop by for refreshments. Please note that if you are planning to visit as a large group it is advisable to book.

Celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year.
The gardens have been lovingly created, over the last 20 years, making the most of the natural wetland with raised walk ways, paths and bridges linking the different areas.

The home of Tony and Janet Overland, Stonyford Cottage Garden, Nursery and Tea Room is run very successfully by their two son’s Andrew and Philip, daughter Carole and
Andy’s wife Angie. Tony and Janet love having their family around and enjoy helping out.

I was so pleased to have visited in May to see the stunning Candelabra Primulas and also the beautiful swan on her nest.

Entry to the gardens is £3.50 or £6 for a season ticket.
The gardens are well maintained and the plants all have name plates, many of which are available to buy from the nursery if you so wish. Hostas, ferns, marsh marigolds and many other plants line the pathways and bronze statues peep out of the vegetation. The bronze fairies are lovely but I particularly liked this cheeky little pixie! Children will love hunting for them and also visiting the bantams.

I can certainly understand why the gardens attract many visitors and are popular with photographers and artists, one of the bridges in particular is very reminiscent of Monet.

The Gardens provide a stunning back drop for Weddings and other special occasions and a marquee is also available, which can seat 60-80 people, the Tea Room seats up to 50.

Each year Stonyford plays host to an Outdoor Theatre, this years performance is ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ on the 20th and 21st August. Take along a picnic and enjoy a superb evening in a magical setting with lights twinkling amongst the trees. Always a sell out so tickets do need to be purchased in advance.

Another event planned for this year is a Willow Obelisk Sculpture course on Wed 4th June & Sat 7th June, there will also be future dates later on in the year as well as other events and Plant Hunters Fairs from specialist nurseries.

Over 500 variety’s of perennials, shrubs and alpines are available in the nursery including some rare or unusual specimens. All of the plants are very well cared for, home grown and propagated. Knowledgeable, helpful advice is always on hand and the plants are very reasonably priced and healthy. Plants are also available to buy online.

I hope that I’ve given Stonyford Cottage Gardens and Nursery the justice it truly deserves, please pop along to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and see for yourself.
Open from 10am - 5pm
Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Stonyford Lane, Oakmere, near Northwich,
Cheshire CW8 2TF. Tel 01606 888970.

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