Showing posts from June, 2015

Silent Sunday - Gardens to visit - Parham House, West Sussex

Parham House in West Sussex is open every Sunday throughout the season 12.00 - 17.00. Also open Wednesday to Friday. Admission to the garden is £8.00 for adults (free to HHA members). Other notable gardens nearby include Sussex Prairies and West Dean.

Last chance to see Little Wantley in Sussex for NGS opening this weekend

Imagine a house overlooking a wonderful lake and a garden full of surprises - this is what you'll find at Little Wantley in Sussex if you visit this weekend. It's a little piece of heaven - brainchild of the late Hilary Barnes, who died last year - created over the last two decades and now a peaceful oasis, complete with rowing boat for the family to use. But it's also provided a wonderful canvas and allowed the owners to plant a range of water-loving plants that couldn't flourish without it. Everywhere you turn in this 4.5 acre garden, you'll find something different, like the rope walk (above) flanked by glorious borders brimming with perennials and roses, leading up to the pergola; and the Stumpery (below), made up of old roots of oak and chestnut, which took four years to collect. And as Hilary once said: "We were stumped on how to begin ... so we lifted the largest roots into place to form the base and then fitted the other pieces into position, like a jig…

Silent Sunday - Gardens to visit - Monks House, East Sussex

Located at Rodmell near Lewes in East Sussex, Monks House is a perfect cottage garden to visit on a Sunday afternoon. Former home of Virginia Woolf, it is now owned by the National Trust and is open from 13.00-17.30 (free admission to members).

Hidcote Manor Garden - Paradise Lost and Found in the Cotswolds

When I first visited Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire several years ago on a hot summer morning in June. It was nothing short of a nightmare! The car park was heaving with coaches, it was over-run with visitors and I came away feeling that I'd been short-changed at a garden theme park ... hustled, bustled and shoved out of the way by foreign tourists desperate to immortalise Lawrence Johnston's iconic Cotswold garden on their memory cards. But if you consider that Hidcote and Sissinghurst are to England, what Giverny and Villandry are to France in terms of drawing garden visitors, it is not surprising. So try and arrive late in the afternoon, as I did this time, at the tail end a rainy day and you might find it more appealing. Hidcote has undergone a huge transformation and reincarnation during the last decade, under the stewardship of the National Trust and a committed team of gardeners headed by Glyn Jones. Regarded as one of the most influential 20th century gardens in Brita…

To Gravetye Manor born - Tom Coward talks about his first five years in the garden created by William Robinson

Tom Coward arrived at Gravetye Manor just five years ago, but has achieved remarkable results during his time as head gardener there. He has not only embraced the challenge of restoring William Robinson's former garden to its former glory, but has worked hard with the new owners of the property to find the right balance between allowing the planted areas to progress, while preserving the history and the unique planting style championed by Robinson, who was a vocal and committed advocate of "wild" gardening.

William Robinson was a somewhat enigmatic figure - a distinguished horticulturalist who wrote prolifically during his 98-year life - and who championed the idea of "wild" gardening and naturalisation of bulbs in both his writing and his own garden at Gravetye. His best-known books: 'The Wild Garden' (published 1870) and 'The English Flower Garden' (15 editions published between 1883-1933) had a huge influence on other gardeners at the time, ye…