Access to this part of our gardens is via the Garden Cafe, up a central path surrounded by naturalistic style planting. Narcissus, Tulips, Alliums and Camassia begin the season, followed by perennials, including Nepeta, Hemerocallis ‘Corky’, Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ Knautia macedonica and Veronicastrum, interspersed with Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberspinne’. The North facing border is filled with Hosta, Astilbe, Heuchera and Tricyrtis.
THE EXOTIC GARDEN
Adjacent to the Cafe, which now occupies the remnants of the old vegetable garden, was started in 2011. The layout remains formal, but the planting within is relaxed and heavily reliant on mostly tender exotics planted out each Spring. The central planters dotted with Trachycarpus palms and Cordyline australis. Cannas, Dahlias, Bananas and Tetrapanax papyrifer are interplanted with large leaved hardy plants suchs as Ligularia and Rodgersia. These in turn are mixed with an array of tender Salvias, Ricinus, Cleome, Tithonia, Solanum spp and many more. The planting changes every year.
THE POOL GARDEN
The Gazebo leads through to the Pool Garden, which is surrounded by an old established yew hedge from the days when this area was a Tennis Court. A long central pond is flanked by a parterre. Tulips abound in Spring, in the parterre and the surrounding borders.
The borders are ‘cottage garden’ style planting, Campanula, Phlox, Agapanthus, Hellebores, Miscanthus, Penstemon, Aquilegia and Irises all jostle for space here. There is always something in flower in these borders. Two large urns dominate the West end, underplanted en masse with Blue Cambia in the Spring, followed by Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’, which quivers with the weight of bees from July to the first frost!
THE CHAPEL GARDEN
The smallest area of the Main gardens, the Chapel Garden, is reached through the wrought iron gates. Two old Irish yew stand sentry at the entrance. Another formal area with a small pool, the small borders contain a variety of perennials, Nepeta, Lychnis, Echinacea pupurea ‘White Swan’, Dianthus ‘Alan Titchmarsh’, Hemerocallis ‘Joan Senior’, Miscanthus cosmopolitan and Erigeron annuus, share the space with Viburnum and Choisya.
THE PERGOLA WALK
On leaving the Chapel Garden you enter the Pergola Walk. With its adjacent herbaceous borders, it is the main access point to the rest of the gardens. Roses and Clematis climb the brick pillars. Narcissus and Tulipa ‘Jan Reus’ in Spring are followed by the herbaceous perennials. Replanted in 2010, Lupins, Irises, Nepeta, Monarda, Delphiniums, Aster ‘Little Carlow’, Hemerocallis, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. Echinacea and Eupatorium fill these borders with colour and texture.
Perpendicular to these and the Pergola are four borders first planted in 2011 reaching out across the lawn towards the hills in the distance. Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ add to the formality, while Miscanthus sinensis ‘Flamingo’, Panicum, Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’ and ‘Percy’s Pride’, Echinacea, Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, Sedum and Persicaria add the informal aspect.
A large and impressive Cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’ dominates the Western boundary of the garden, across the lawn toward the house.
At the steps leading to the back of the house are small borders with multiple stemmed Prunus serrula (Tibetan Cherry), Agapanthus, Phlomis russeliana and Clematis. There are also Phlox and Sedum planted along this terrace.
The small glade opposite the house is underplanted with shade lovers, Hostas, Rhododendron, Foxgloves, Roscoea, Epimedium, Erythronium and Euphorbia robbiae amongst others.
Cornus controversa variegata, Magnolia stellata, Magnolia × loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ and Choisya with herbaceous perennials, forms the Eastern boundary.
THE PRAIRIE GARDEN
On the lower southern section of the Garden our Prairie Garden was commenced in the Winter of 2013.
An area of Grasses and Herbaceous Perennials, planted for form and colour as well as their structure during Winter.
Miscanthus, Stipa and Pancium Grasses are interplanted in swathes of Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Phlox, Phlomis and more.
Further extensions were made over the Winter of 2015 to include Shrubs with Winter Interest. More of these will be added in subsequent years to the outer areas.