Showing posts from October, 2013

Two of the finest sub-tropical gardens in Cornwall - Trebah and Glendurgan

Cornwall is a garden lovers paradise, even this late in the season. Home to some of the greatest plant hunters in history and with a climate that fosters plants and trees that won't grow elsewhere in England, it's perfect for plantsmen and an Arcadia for arborists. Head to two neighbouring gardens - Trebah and Glendurgan - on the Helford estuary near Falmouth - and you'll encounter palms, tree ferns and many other exotic specimens that you'd normally only see in a botanical glasshouse here in the UK. 
The two gardens were originally owned by two members of the same family. Charles Fox created the 25 acres at Trebah in the 19th century, after his father gave him the estate and many of the trees there date back to his time in residence. Neighbouring Glendurgan (now under the stewardship of the National Trust) was created by his older brother, Alfred. And whilst both gardens are best known for their spectacular spring displays of azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododend…

The Garden House - a remarkable plantsman's garden in Devon

The Garden House near Plymouth in Devon, is a delightful property that's really worth making the effort to see if you're in the area, or en route to the West Country. This is a garden for all seasons and it doesn't matter whether you visit early in the season to catch the rhododendrons; in May to see the wisteria in full bloom; high summer, when every border is bursting with colour and the wildflower meadow is at its peak; or October to see the wonderful autumn hues in the acer glade. The whole effect is one of a floral tapestry, set against a historical backdrop and fine views.  Tucked away down winding country lanes in a village called Buckland Monachorum, it was created by a passionate plantsman more than 60 years ago. Successive head gardeners have considerably enhanced the eight-acre property and added their own stamp over the years, particularly Keith Wiley, who spent quarter of a century here adding to the backbone of the garden created by the owner.  
The story here …

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Autumn colours and blooms


Happy 80th birthday to John Brookes - influential garden and landscape designer

John Brookes is to garden design and landscape what Terence Conran was to household interiors – so major has his influence been on the way we have come to perceive the space outside our homes in the last 50 years. He has taught several generations of gardeners to to explore and enjoy the concept of “The Room Outside” through his pioneering garden designs, his prolific writing and his teaching. John is 80 this week, but continues to work at a pace that leaves most of us standing! 
Although I have only known him for a couple of years, I’ve been privileged to work with John on two occasions in India. We have travelled, shivered and laughed together as we faced impossible driving conditions, unexpected low temperatures and ridiculous situations where we were either unable to make ourselves understood, or had been so misunderstood that the end result caused us to collapse in fits of merriment. 
But we have also explored amazing forts, castles and gardens during long journeys through Rajastha…

Britain's best October gardens - where to see wonderful autumn colours in the south of England

There are many signs that autumn is in the air, with low-lying mists rolling off rivers and the all-too familiar early morning visibility problems on the way to work. And some leaves are beginning to turn, although it's too early for the spectacular autumn colours that some of the gardens here are famous for. But with the change in seasons, today's entry is a round-up of some of the gardens in the south of England that are really worth visiting at this time of year. Some remain open throughout the year, but both the Exotic Garden in Norwich and Great Dixter close in the next few weeks, so try and get there if you can to catch autumn at its best.  In Hampshire, Sir Harold Hillier left the nation a wonderful garden legacy at his former home outside Romsey (top) - now run by the council and recognised as one of the great gardens of Britain, the winter garden provides year round colour and the trees are always worth a visit when the leaves are turning, particularly the acer glade. …