Lions and elephants are a rare sight in Derbyshire gardens but you can find both in Bolehill, where the quirkiness of one local corner in particular attracts regular visitors.
This year, with the return of the popular Bolehill Open Gardens Weekend, there is a chance to see them alongside eleven other gardens of all shapes and sizes, ranging through hidden gems, tiny terraces, a working small holding and a meadow stroll. Most gardeners are happy to chat about their creations and swap planting ideas. There will also be a plant stall full of bargains, local greetings cards for sale and refreshments to fortify visitors for the steeper sections of the village.
An added attraction this year reflects the village's lively community of resident artists and crafts people, some of whom will be exhibiting and available to talk about their work. On Saturday, at 12.00 the Kirk Ireton singers will be providing entertainment and, on Sunday only, there will be an exhibition of some of the area's classic cars, out of their garages and polished up for the occasion.
Bolehill lies just off the main road between Cromford and Wirksworth; once a busy lead mining area it is now a quieter retreat with lovely views and excellent access to local walks and attractions like the National Stone Centre, Black Rocks and the Steeple Grange Light Railway.. Include a stroll out along the High Peak Trail to round off your day in this lovely and historically interesting part of the county.
The Open Gardens event runs from 11am to 4pm on both days and costs £4 per person, with free entry for children. The price includes a map and guide, which you can pick up from entry points on route. Parking is best done just out of the narrow streets of the village, at the Black Rocks and National Stone Centre car parks or at the Steeple Grange Dental Practice.