The main feature of this very special garden has to be the wall, the double skinned
wall of flint and brick surrounding three sides of the hugely productive vegetable
and fruit garden. It’s a fantastic construction of hand-made, crumbling bricks and
awkward flints, in need of repair and full of old nails and plant supports.
The wall keeps the deer, rabbits and wind out, provides a great framework for climbing
and wall-plants, creates a micro-climate for plants within and without, radiates
heat and houses families of blue-tits with squirrels using the top as a private motorway.
Exochorda macrantha ‘The Bride’
the plant list - a list compiled over the years of all the plants in the garden;
there are around 1,000 on it and I use it like an external hard-drive for my dwindling
brain. If I didn’t like a plant there’s likely to be a sniping comment on the list
and conversely praise is give where praise is due; some plants just thrive and thrill.
Feature number two must be the stream-fed lake frequented by kingfishers, canada
geese, duck, grass snakes and now the otter, who we hope will keep the golden orf
The banks are planted with shrubs and moisture-loving perennials with some stretches
just grassed. The duck house (no MPs here) is often used but Mrs Mallard, sadly,
never stays more than twenty four hours with her brood; we blame the moorhens.
A huge, ancient douglas fir sweeps its branches down towards the water on one side,
four very tall cricket bat willows line up along the southern bank, cornuses abound
and a bog-garden under the weeping willow is stuffed with primulas, ligularias and
the old house bed, the spring and winter gardens
These areas are full of precious and interesting shrubs, useful ground cover, bulbs
(no large, vulgar daffodils here) and climbers, tier upon tier. Many of my treasures
are to be found in these sheltered areas, some of my favourite to work in, where
the soil is moist, rich and fertile.