Strangely although I love wild and informal flower gardens I am somewhat drawn to formal designs too. Not that I’d have the patience to tackle topiary in any form, but I do admire the clean lines and shapes of this art.

hintonampner yews

This picture is of    Hinton Ampner, a National Trust house and garden   in rural Hampshire near Winchester. It is the creation of Ralph Dutton, 8th and last Lord Sherborne, who was born here in 1898 and remodelled both house and garden when he inherited the estate in 1936. He created one of the country’s finest shrub gardens – the formal and informal planting is expressed in his book ‘A Hampshire Manor’.


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