Flower of the Month: May

May is the most floriferous month in my opinion. Everything seems to spring into life as the soil warms up and the daylight hours increase. Trees are green once again and many are full of enticing blossom, but the ones that are noticeable in Cornwall are the Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Cornish gardens are simply at…

Garden Portrait: Mrs Greville’s Rose Garden

Mrs Greville’s rose garden at Polesden Lacey in the Surrey Hills  is set out in a simple cross pattern, with long, box-edged, wooden pergolas, adjoining seams of ‘Munstead’ and deeper ‘Hidcote’ lavenders, walls draped in clematis and a water tower festooned in an old Chinese wisteria, it is a mass of pink and white in the summer months. This…

Garden Portrait: Summer at Hinton Ampner

The walled kitchen garden is full of lavender-edged borders and swaying grasses and the Norman church is now surrounded by greenery. Pear trees that were in blossom in the spring, now drip with ripening fruit. In July the garden is transformed. Around the house and the terraces shrubs give way to bedding plants, perennials, delicate…

Garden Portrait: Erddig

Erddig Hall is a National Trust property on the outskirts of Wrexham, Wales. Located 2 miles south of Wrexham town centre, it was built in 1684–1687 for Josiah Edisbury, the High Sheriff of Denbighshire. The garden and indeed the house, were in disrepair when the estate was handed over to the National Trust in 1973….

Garden Portrait: Powis Castle

The castle and garden is in Welshpool, Powys. The gardens are spread out over several Baroque terraces leading down through shrubs and giant cloud-shaped yew hedges to a large lawned area and a former kitchen garden and a woodland walk. All backed by a patchwork of fields, villages and hills of the Welsh border countryside….

Garden Portrait: Stourhead

Stourhead is often called “one of the most beautiful of this country’s landscape gardens” with a gentle harmonious planting of broad-leaved trees, conifers and rhododendrons. The valley landscape began in the 1740s by Henry Hoare II who had returned from a three-year tour of Italy and was inspired by the Roman Campagna ( a low-lying area…

Garden Portrait: Snowshill Manor

Snowshill Manor near Broadway, Gloucestershire, is probably visited mainly for the eclectic collections of the architect, artist and woodworker Charles Paget Wade who purchased the house in 1919. The beautiful honey-coloured stone Cotswold house is set within the fresh green countryside and situated on a steeply sloping plot. To reach the garden from the National…

Garden Portrait: Spring at Hinton Ampner

This Georgian house stands on a ridge of chalk above well-treed farmland in Bramdean, Hampshire. It was inherited by Ralph Dutton, the 8th and last Lord Sherborne, in 1935 and he devoted the next fifty years to improving it. Author of ‘The English Garden’ he produced a very elegant house, landscaped gardens and parkland. On…

Garden Portrait: Polesden Lacey

I have visited Polesden Lacey a few times, but always too late for the wonderful Mrs Greville’s Rose Garden. This National Trust owned property is in Great Bookham, Surrey and designed as the perfect setting for entertaining royalty, politicians and the top dogs of the Edwardian society. Just a little second home then. I’ve never…

Garden Portrait: Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle and Garden lies in west Kent close to Lamberhurst village and is one of the most romantic landscape gardens designed in the picturesque style. The planting is very natural with the ruins of the 14† century Old Castle at its centre. The ‘new’ castle was built in 1835 which was when the gardens around…