Dorothy Clive Hillside Garden Where Love Never Dies

A real gardener’s garden is born out of love, created with passion and fuelled by desire and takes many years to mature. It becomes a life’s work that is carved in the hillside with sweat and hard graft, a garden made with love never get’s old. Instead it grows, it blossoms into much more than just a garden it becomes a legacy of love.

When Harry Clive had the vision to create a garden, not just any garden but a garden on a hillside quarry, it was not a decision he made light-heartedly. Harry and his wife Dolly are believed to have gardened side by side as they attempted to transform this steep quarry into a hillside garden.

Unfortunately Dolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s early in the gardens development, Harry continued to carve pathways and walks for his ailing wife who was battling the disease in the early 1940’s.

Harry’s passion spurned on by the love for his dying wife, Dolly, who sadly passed away just two years into Harry’s garden grand designs, due to the aggressive nature of the disease Dolly never saw the garden completed.

The Dorothy Clive garden became a legacy of love, like with many gardeners we strive to tame nature to give pleasure to all who visit, be it man or beast, pest or welcomed predator.

frilly dolly fuchsia dorothy clive garden igrowhort
This single flower captured for me the love I felt when visiting the garden after reading the story of how Harry created a garden.

Can a single flower capture the love felt when visiting the garden Harry created? A garden with and for his ailing wife Dolly, who sadly died before its completion? For me it’s this Fuchsia ‘Fluffy Frills’ however im not convinced of the naming.

Harry created many seating area’s for Dolly to enjoy short trips around the garden.

Volunteers opportunities at Dorothy Clive gardenfullsizeoutput_3e7fullsizeoutput_3edfullsizeoutput_3effullsizeoutput_3f4fullsizeoutput_3f9fullsizeoutput_3f5DSCN3400fullsizeoutput_3ff

Set on old hillside quarry in surrounding Shropshire farmland views.
Harry created a woodland dell in the old quarry.
The sound of running water echoes off the quarried valley sides.
Tumbling water falls to the quarry basin and provides a humid growing condition for ferns and marginal.

Strangely my affiliation with the Dorothy Clive Garden continues having visited as an apprentice almost 30 years ago and now returning to visit as Head Gardener for a nearby Cheshire Estate. It has been my great pleasure to encourage my team to visit gardens of merit on the Cheshire and Shropshire border of which Dorothy Clive come highly recommended.

Often in our commercialised World of theme parks and shopping malls, I cannot help but feel that visitors to gardens often arrive with expectations that far exceed the fundamental reasons for a gardens existence, it’s continued battle with the Elements, Nature and the Weather, not forgetting pests and diseases and the safety implications and insurance costs of opening a garden to the public these days.

May I suggest if your planning a road trip with your family or organising group excursions, please do your research as not all gardens can offer full mobility access, some born on a hillside others with location issues. British gardens are often a life’s love rarely established to deal with a large number of seasonal visitors arriving by the coach load.

Join me on


Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant




“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.





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About Head Gardener 290 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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