Monday, 19 July 2010

Bored with borders! You won't find any here!!

Most gardens I've visited recently are about borders .... borders .... more borders and lovely as they look, I'm getting bored with borders! So imagine my joy when I visited one of my favourite gardens in the world yesterday - the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden - and didn't have to look at a single, perfectly-planted border. This is a glorious garden - a true touch of Jurassic Park in the middle of Surrey - with huge clumps of architectural plants including gunnera, bamboos and giant hogweed, which provide a wonderful setting for the sculptures on display there. 
Brainchild of Hannah Peschar, who has lived here for nearly three decades, this amazing haven in the heart of Surrey's commuter belt is an idyllic setting. I was on my way home from yet another deeply mediocre NGS garden (more on that in another blog post later) and needed to lift my weary spirits, so what better venue than this? The sculpture exhibition changes as exhibits sell; the garden is magnificent; and it's a wonderful place to visit even if you're not planning to buy. 
There's even a little summer house for rent (above) if you want to stay here. But the clever planting - conceived by Hannah's husband, landscape designer, Anthony Paul - is ideal for the role the garden plays - a magnificent stage set for sculptures large and small, that need to be displayed sufficiently far apart so as not to crowd one another. And right in the middle of the garden is the black and white cottage that dates back to the 15th century and is home to the owners (top), which could easily be a ginger-bread house, surrounded by water. 
Sculpture gardens aren't for everybody, but this one is worth visiting even if you don't intend to buy and it's a far cry from the rather austere Cass Foundation at Goodwood in nearby Sussex. You can happily spend hours here, just enjoying the gardens, and wandering through the vast expanse of greenery, which includes a bamboo garden and many open spaces connected by bridges. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 6pm and Sunday afternoons from 2pm-5pm, this is one worth making a detour for!

Sculptures on display here are Walter Bailey's "Sophia" (second from top); and "Journey Work" (outside the cottage); and Tony Heywood's "Super Outdoor Bloom" (above).

5 comments:

  1. That has been on my 'list' for ages. "I must try harder, I must try harder..."

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  2. Ooooh, I love Sophia. I am really enjoying modern sculpture in the garden, wish I could afford one of these pieces.

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  3. A wonderful combination of art and gardens. Wouldn't I love to rent the summer house...

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  4. You have reminded me I meant to go ages ago - thank you! I love APaul's work too.

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  5. Hi Charlotte,
    Beautiful blog you've got here, and thank you for everything you said about the garden....one small mistake, I'm afraid that the Summer House is no longer available to rent (sorry!).
    Best wishes,
    Vikki (Assistant Curator at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden)

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