There's no mistaking a photo like this! Where else could it be but Hobbiton? For this week's blog, we thought we could show you some photos taken on a visit there. We went in September. As a huge Tolkein fan, this visit had been on my bucket list for ages. Apart from the Hobbit Holes, I was really interested in seeing the gardens. I was a bit worried that visiting in early Spring might mean that the gardens weren't going to be showing at their best (especially because where I live, in Turangi, September is still winter and nothing is growing yet). All I can say is that the gardens were a complete delight, and worth a visit even if it didn't also have hobbit holes!!
Everywhere you go there are the most wonderful details - this outdoor table set up with a picnic is just one example of the beautifully executed staging details throughout Hobbiton - it makes you just want to open the garden gate and sit down to join the picnic.
One of the first things you see when you arrive at Hobbiton, is the woven fences. I'm not sure what they are made of, but I think this is hazel. As we were leaving I spied a stand of what looked like coppicing hazel. Throughout Hobbiton, wherever possible, locally grown resources were used. I have fence envy - these little fences are just lovely!
There are lots of hobbit holes at Hobbiton, and every one of them has been planted and presented beautifully. You would think that the hobbits have just stepped inside for a moment and that they could pop out and say hello at any moment, and take up where they left off in the garden.
Every little detail is charming - this pretty planter with its painted detail is just one example.
Even though it was early in the season, the garden was just lovely, with flowers and vegetables growing everywhere. There is a real art in making what is really a film set/tourist attraction look as though it was populated by gardeners!
Although the gardens appear charmingly casual, it takes a team of 6 fulltime gardeners to keep the gardens looking so good. There is a real art in the presentation.
Throughout Hobbiton, there are vegetable gardens and fruit trees, just as you would find in a real village. I just want to live here - all of the tumbledown fences and the woven compost bin frames, and the pretty painted ladders are so charming! This is a small round vegetable garden outside one of the Hobbit Holes.
Don't you just want to open the gate and get stuck in to a bit of gardening?
No self-respecting garden would be without a compost pile, but in Hobbiton the compost pile is so pretty!
Although some of details that you see around the village aren't real (the picnic food, for example), all of the vegetables, plants and seedlings growing in the gardens are real (with one exception, which I will get to later). These little pumpkins and squashes make a lovely display.
Everywhere you look, throughout the gardens, you will find details like this wooden flat of seedlings.
This is a detail of the planting at Bag End.
Quite a few of the Hobbit Holes have been designed to show the occupation of the hobbit who lives there. You can see a wonderful woodworking lathe outside one hobbit hole, and these photos are from outside the village bee-keepers home.
You make your way through the village, up and down all the little twisty paths, and at the top of the hill, overlooking the village, is Bilbo's hobbit hole, Bag End.
This pumpkin is the only thing related to gardening at Hobbiton that isn't real. But it used to be. This pumpkin appears in two different places in Hobbiton, and has been made from a mould taken from a real giant pumpkin that they grew in previous years (and were very proud of, hence having immortalised it). This one has pride of place outside Bag End, and there is another giant pumpkin in the main vegetable garden.
Everywhere you look there are delightful garden details - bluebells growing under the trees, little painted bird houses, charming wooden fences.....
The birds have been well looked after, with birdhouses spaced out throughout the garden. The bird were using them as well. And this was a lovely way to use a gourd. It had been shaped into a bird feeder and filled with apple halves for the birds to eat. And everything has its little touches of paint effects to add to the rustic look.
There are even Hobbit Holes in a variety of scales, as Gandalf is much taller than the hobbits - this allowed the different characters to appear to be larger or smaller.
I would highly recommend a visit to Hobbiton! It was just completely charming....and you do get a visit to the Green Dragon at the end of the tour for a little tipple! If you are intending to go, I'd recommend taking the first tour of the day - then it feels as though you are there on your own....we watched the village fill up behind us as subsequent tour parties arrived and were glad we had had views across Hobbiton without the tour parties.
I just wanted to move into the village!