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Showing posts from September, 2013

A fantasy landscape in Norfolk - Will Giles' Exotic Garden - guaranteed to lift your spirits in the autumn

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When you visit the Exotic Garden at the heart of Norwich in Norfolk, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've accidentally wandered onto a movie set or through the back of the wardrobe in one of C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles. It's an amazing and exhilarating surprise to find a subtropical landscape like this in the middle of an East Anglian city - all due to the efforts of creator, Will Giles, who has amassed a collection of plants that you'd normally expect to find in a completely different climate zone. September and October are the ideal months to visit this magical one-acre garden hidden at the heart of one Britain's ancient cities because that's when the huge range of hardy exotics normally associated with the tropics reach their peak. Will Giles has been gardening here since 1982 and used his ever-growing knowledge of exotics to ensure that fast growing plants like cannas, colocasias and ginger will given an "impenetrable jungle of foliage and flower…

Tremenheere, Cornwall - is this the new Garden of Eden?

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With views like this over St Michael's Mount (above); a hillside plot above Mounts Bay; and a tract of land that includes hills, streams and thick woodland areas, Tremenheere in Cornwall is about as close as you'll get to a blank canvas on which to paint a visionary garden. The artist behind the scenes is  local doctor Neil Armstrong, who purchased 11 acres here in 1997, and is now creating a masterpiece that promises to be a great British green space of the future. This garden is already unique because of its position and unusual climate - but give it another half century as the plants mature - and you'll have a genuine Garden of Eden. Tremenheere (pronounced Tre-men-ear) is about two miles from Penzance and nestles between the villages of Gulval and Ludgvan. You won't find a great Cornish mansion at the heart of this garden, because there's no house here at all, just a wonderful landscape. And it was this that attracted owner, Neil Armstrong, to this unusual hills…