Peter and Pat Ashcroft’s black and white cottage is embedded into the countryside.

‘Little House’ sits below the lane and its garden is bounded by a stream which must give a gentle burbling commentary when they are working on the flower filled bed that sits beside it.

You can follow that narrow slate path or else become distracted as I was by the sight of birds around the feeder before noticing a display of insect eating plants where vapour was rising venomously around the pitcher plants.

I did take up the path again for a series of slate paths take you on a journey through woodland and meadow, ponds and island beds and all in a third of an acre.

As you wander from one habitat to another, for this is a garden that is a haven for wildlife too, the mood and atmosphere changes and this is the particular magic of the place.

I walked beside the stream to find myself in a little bit of woodland with a pond for newts and frogs at its centre.

The Ashcroft’s are passionate about encouraging wildlife into the garden with the whole place buzzing with insects and and you are very likely to see a squirrel bouncing along a branch or a vole scurrying beneath a conifer whilst song birds flit amongst the trees.

The woodland ends in a meadow that looks out on a pond where goldfish swim amongst the water-lilies and a thin stream of water falls into the pond from the open mouth of a stone frog.

Pat says that they started with the ponds and worked out from there for when they came here nine years ago the garden was mostly meadow. Their last garden had covered two acres sitting within a five acre Irish meadow, this is their 15th with all the accumulated knowledge of years of passionate gardening to draw upon and with it comes a love of plants.

I stooped to look at a little campanula whose nodding bells were transformed into streamers and was told it is Campanula punctata ‘Pink Octopus’.

Primula florindae with its gold and occasionally rust red cluster of nodding cowslip like flowers on foot high stems is flowering now just one of many of this species for Peter told me that they are very fond of primroses.

We looked at the auricula theatre with its shelves of prim auriculas which made Peter comment that some show varieties could be ‘perverse and difficult’.

Frankly, I wouldn’t dare to try with these precious divas of the plant world.

The auricula theatre itself leads to the sensory garden but I was stopped in my tracks by a little grotto that the Ashcrofts call ‘the dragon folly’ an enchanted miniature world encrusted with moss and a-drip with water.

Little House will open again by appointment on July 25 and 26 but Peter and Pat hope to open on other dates over the summer.

To book and check other openings go to the NGS website and book a timed slot as I did. I dare say that like me, you will also come away with pots filled with primulas and other lovely treasures.