Bucket List of Rose Gardens in England

Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty with overseas gardens featuring my favourite plants, roses! Today’s post features English rose gardens, exemplified by David Austin rose, Heritage, the main feature photo for this post, while French rose gardens are discussed tomorrow and those of Italy and Germany on Thursday. This is just a small selection of the huge number of rose gardens in England and no doubt, there are many other wonderful gardens to visit, but here goes…! Firstly, the holy grail of old rose gardens: the National Old-Fashioned  Rose Collection at Mottisfont Abbey

Mottisfont

North Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0LP

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/features/mottisfonts-rose-garden

These beautiful  walled gardens hold over 500 varieties of pre-1900 once-flowering Old Roses, which reach their peak in the last two weeks in June, as well as some newer repeat-flowering rose varieties as well. They are open from March to October and attract over 350 000  visitors.

It was created by Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003), a plantsman, nurseryman and garden writer and one of the most important figures in 20th-century British horticulture. As a 22 year old foreman at the Surrey nursery, T Hilling and Co. in 1931, he was mentored by 88 year old Gertrude Jekyll, who shared her knowledge about plants, plant groupings, methods of cultivation, colour theory and garden design as art. While at Hillings, he in turn influenced fellow employee, Peter Beales, my next entry!

It was around this time that Graham began to collect old shrub and climbing rose varieties, many of which had fallen out of favour, because they only flowered once during the season.

In 1956, Graham became a partner and director of Sunningdale Nurseries, a position he held until 1971. He established a collection of old roses, sourcing them from all over the world, trialling and selecting the best for British conditions and listing them in his nursery catalogue ‘The Manual of Shrub Roses’.

He went on to write 19 garden books, including his famous trilogy: Old Shrub Roses 1955 (constantly updated and reprinted); Shrub Roses of Today 1962; and Climbing Roses Old and New 1965, all illustrated with his own drawings and paintings.

Graham was an informal advisor to the National Trust from 1948 , when he worked on their first garden, Hidcote Manor, being appointed as their official garden advisor from 1955 on. He was also responsible for the restoration of over 100  gardens, including Sissinghurst Castle (http://www.countrylife.co.uk/gardens/country-gardens-and-gardening-tips/the-history-of-sissinghursts-roses-58258), Stourhead and Mt Stewart, Ireland. He was awarded an OBE for his work with the National Trust in 1975 and the Dean Hole Medal from the National Rose Society in 1996, and is even remembered in the name of one of David Austin’s beautiful golden roses Graham Thomas (photo below).

When he wanted a site to preserve his collection of old roses, he sought permission from the National Trust to use the old walled kitchen garden at Mottisfont. By 1974, he had created a garden that combined roses with a mix of herbaceous perennials in attractive colour combinations to give a season-long display and which showed his strong sense of design and his immense knowledge of plants and love of roses. Planting schemes were based on form, foliage and texture, as well as flower colour.

A gateway set in a sunny, rose-covered wall leads to the first rose garden, with deep box-lined borders, full of rambling roses (Wichuraiana and Multiflora) and climbing roses (Noisettes and Climbing Teas) and clematis, trained on the high brick wall behind, as well as on arches, pillars and pergolas, and beds filled with Bourbons; Hybrid Perpetuals; Chinas; Scots Roses; and a few Rugosa Hybrids.

The main paths crossing the site converge on a central round pond and fountain, surrounded by eight clipped Irish yews, the box-edged paths creating four quadrants each with a central lawn,  to house his Gallicas, Damasks, Portlands, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses, under-planted with many of his favourite perennials, chosen for their structure, scent and wide colour palette.

Agapanthus, aquilegias, geraniums, iris, poppies, eryngium and peonies mingle with pinks, allium, bergenias, lilies, campanulas, erigeron, yarrow, phlox, scabiosa, nepeta, lavender and naturalised purple, pink and white Linaria purpurea. The centres of the borders are a mass of soft blues, pinks and whites, whilst stronger yellows, oranges and dark pinks draw your eye along the length of the border. In June, the roses are accompanied by striking spires of white foxgloves. The northern section of the walled garden, with its wide paths, is deliberately planted with a cool colour palette to provide a counterpoint to the central rose garden.

The gardeners dead-head all our modern varieties and any old-fashioned  roses that flower more than once, but otherwise leave the hips on the old roses for Winter feed for the birds.

It is an excellent place to study the differences in all the different old rose types: the Gallicas with their large sweetly-scented flowers, up to six inches across; the Damasks with their soft grey-green leaves and pink and white flowers; the Mosses with their resinous stems and buds; and the Teas and Musks with their distinctive scents.

Here is a YouTube videos of the garden , showing its design clearly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-QZExHApYw.

The rose Graham Thomas is on the left of the walk and is the climbing form.BlogEngRosesReszd2014-10-25 09.52.59BlogRustonRenmkReszd2014-10-25 09.53.19Peter Beales Roses

London Rd, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 1AY

https://www.classicroses.co.uk/

Peter Beales (1936-2013) was a British rosarian, author and lecturer and a leading expert on species and classic roses. He worked under Graham Stuart Thomas, later succeeding him as foreman, at T Hillings and Co., Chobham, Surrey,  then the home to the most comprehensive collections of old roses in the United Kingdom.

Peter started his own nursery at Swardeston, Norfolk, in 1967, raising bedding plants, then breeding his own roses, moving to the current site at Attleborough in the late 1970s, when the business outgrew its premises.

He specialised in old-fashioned, rare and historic scented  roses, growing 1 200 different varieties at his nursery. He won 19 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show over his lifetime (now 23) and was the President of the Royal National Rose Society from 2003 to 2005. He was given the highest RHS award, the Victorian Medal of Honour, in 2003 and an  MBE in 2005. He is also the holder of the National Collection of Rosa Species, holding more than 100 types of wild species roses in Britain. He has written a number of books including Classic Roses  in 1985 and Visions of Roses in 1996, see: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.

We also own his romantic VHS video titled ‘A Celebration of Old Roses‘, in which he attributes the start of his love affair with Old Roses with the Alba rose, Maiden’s Blush, at his childhood home. In lieu of this rose, since I don’t have a decent photo yet (!), I have featured another famous old Alba, Alba Maxima (see below).

In 2015, Peter Beales Roses launched the Peter Beales Garden Centre, a specialist rose and plant centre, selling roses, shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials. It also has a two acre display garden, a gift shop with garden supplies, tools, books and rose-related products, and a licensed tea room and restaurant. I would love to visit their nursery and display garden in June. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/tours-courses-events/our-gardens/our-gardens.html.

The gardens show historic, rare and contemporary roses, growing in unison with complimentary plants like foxgloves, salvia, campanulas, iris, daisies, nepeta and anemones. The roses are displayed along paths and arches, including the iron St Albans Walkway, comprising of four arched walkways, joined together at the centre of a six metre gazebo. There is also a specially designed wildlife garden, pond, children’s woodland play area and stunning observation turret.blogelegantalbasreszd20%2014-10-27-13-07-44David Austin Roses

Bowling Green Lane, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, WV7 3HB

http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/

http://www.davidaustinrosesaustralia.com/australian/handbook.pdf

David Austin (1926-) is the other big name in the United Kingdom rose world. He started rose breeding in the early 1950s, releasing his first commercially available rose Constance Spry (a cross between a Floribunda, Dainty Maid, and Gallica, Belle Isis) in 1961, followed by Chianti (a cross between Floribunda, Dusky Maiden, and Gallica, Tuscany Superb) in 1967 and Shropshire Lass in 1968.

His early roses were once-flowering in Spring and early Summer, but by 1969, he had  produced a series of remontant varieties, bred by back-crossing Constance Spry with other Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, their names based on Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. For example, Wife of Bath; Cantebury; The Prioress; and  The Yeoman.

David’s aim was to produce a rose combining the best of the old Gallica, Damask and Alba roses (form, character, disease resistance and scent) and new Hybrid Teas and Floribundas (repeat-flowering and wide colour range).

Since founding David Austin Roses in 1969, he has introduced over 190 new rose cultivars of English Roses. They are named after:

Family Members eg his wife, Pat Austin; his father, Charles Austin and his mother, Lilian Austin; his daughter, Claire Austin; his son, James. L. Austin, and James’ wife, Jayne Austin; and grand-daughter Olivia Rose Austin, the daughter of his other son, David Austin Junior;

Well-known Rosarians: Graham Thomas; Gertrude Jekyll; Constance Spry; and  Trevor Griffiths;

Geographical Landmarks in Britain: Winchester Cathedral; Windermere; and Glamis Castle;

British Gardens: Harlow Carr; Munstead Wood; Wisley; and Kew Gardens;

Historical Ships: Mary Rose (Henry VII’s flagship); and The Mayflower (the English ship that transported the Puritans from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620);

Historical Characters and Famous People: William Morris; Charles Darwin; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Sir Walter Raleigh; Thomas a Beckett; Anne Boleyn; Vanessa Bell; and today’s famous actress, Dame Judi Dench;

The works of writers:

Chaucer: Chaucer; The Pilgrim; The Nun; The Reeve; The Friar; The Yeomen; and The Squire;

Shakespeare: William Shakespeare; Wise Portia (The Merchant of Venice); Sweet Juliet (Romeo and Juliet); Prospero (The Tempest); Desdemona (Othello); and Cordelia (King Lear);

Christopher Marlowe: Christopher Marlowe; and Leander;

Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbevilles; and Jude the Obscure (photo below); and

Coleridge: The Ancient Mariner.

Since then, the roses have been further separated into four groups:

Old Rose Hybrids: These have the appearance of Old Roses, but are recurrent, with a wide colour range eg Brother Cadfael; Eglantyne; Jude the Obscure; LD Braithwaite; and  Sharifa Asma;

Leander Group: Wichuraiana parentage; Larger bush with arching growth; Suitable for pillar or use as a low climber eg Golden Celebration; William Morris; and The Alnwick Rose;

English Musk Rose: Iceberg and Noisette parentage; Pale green, slender and airy growth, but musk scent absent in most cultivars eg Evelyn; Heritage; Graham Thomas; Lucetta; and Windermere;  and

English Alba Hybrids: Tall, blue-leafed bushes eg Shropshire Lass; and Cordelia.

He has written a number of books about Old Roses (eg The Heritage of the Rose 1990; The Rose 2009/ 2012) and his English roses (eg: Old Roses and English Roses 1992; David Austin’s English Roses 1993/1996 and The English Roses : Classic Favourites and New Selections 2007). See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.

He has won 23 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and was awarded the RHS Victorian Medal of Honour in 2003; an OBE in 2007; and was named a ‘Great Rosarian of the World’ in 2010.

His two acre ( 0.8 ha) display gardens (http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/plant-centre-and-gardens and http://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/david-austin-rose-gardens showcase 800 varieties of roses: Old Roses; Climbing Roses; Rambling Roses and 150 English Roses, all growing informally within clipped evergreen hedges. Here is a map of the display gardens, from page 272 of his 2007 book: The English Roses.BlogEngRosesReszd2017-09-29 09.24.38The garden is divided into a number of smaller themed areas, including: the Long Garden; The Victorian Walled Garden; the Lion Garden; the Renaissance Garden; the Patio Garden; and the Species Garden. For more on the display gardens, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox0PZPv1V98 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zy3oY0KpFU.

bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-22-17-03-14And now for three private gardens: Kiftsgate; Elsing Hall and Mannington Hall.

Kiftsgate Court

Chipping Campden, Glos GL55 6LN, United Kingdom

http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/

Map: http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/garden-map/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8r6dOOB58Y

Famous for its Kiftsgate Rose, this garden is worth visiting for all its other roses, as well as the rest of the garden. This Twentieth Century Arts and Crafts garden is set on the Cotswolds escarpment, overlooking the Malvern Hills, and has been in the same family (three generations of women) for over 75 years.

The house was built from 1887 to 1891 by Sydney Garves Hamilton, who developed a paved formal garden in front of the portico. It was bought by Jack and Heather Muir in 1918. Inspired by Lawrence Johnston’s Hidcote Manor next-door, Heather developed  the garden organically, rather than drawing a precise plan on paper. She started by extending a lawn from the formal paved garden, then built steps in the steep wooded  bank to the lower garden, 150 feet below. She planted hedges of yew and copper beech to create a series of interconnecting gardens, each with its own character. She developed a Yellow Border and a Rose Border and built a summerhouse with views to the west.

Her eldest daughter, Diany Binny, took over the garden in the 1950s, adding a semicircular pool to the lower garden; redesigning the White Sunk Garden to include a small pool and wellhead fountain; and opening the garden to the public on a regular basis.

Dinny’s eldest daughter, Anne Chambers, and husband John have been responsible for the garden since the 1980s and have built a very modern Water Garden on the old tennis court.

Kiftsgate is a typical Arts and Crafts garden with wide herbaceous borders, a four-square garden and terrace, a White Sunk Garden, a Yellow Border, a Rose Border, a rockery, lawns and a bluebell wood. See the website, especially the diary and the map, for more details.

The areas that particularly interest me are :

The Orchard and Wild Garden with Camassias and Tulipa ‘Jan Reus’ blooming under the Spring blossom of heritage apples, medlars, quinces and pears, as well as the Bluebell Wood, filled with English Bluebells, Fritillaria meleagris, wild garlic, Anemone blanda and the odd grape hyacinth inside the entrance gates;

The wide Double Borders of small trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in pinks, mauves and purples with grey foliage;

The White Sunk Garden with white shrubs: Deutzias, Carpentarias; Hoherias and Staphyllea, underplanted with a riot of colour provided by erythroniums and trilliums in Spring, followed by Summer-blooming anemones, helianthemums, dioramas, santolinas and self-seeding Allium christophii. Roses include: R. sericea ‘Heather Muir’, ‘Diany Binny’, R. soulieana, R. alba semi-plena, White Wings, R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’, R. cooperii and ‘Lady Godiva’;   and most importantly of all:

The Double Rose Border, full of old-fashioned, species and modern roses, with a low hedge of Rosa mundi bordering the central lawn path, as well as astilbes, asters and grasses. Some of my favourites are there: Mme Hardy; Stanwell Perpetual; and Honorine de Brabant. The original Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ rose, planted in 1938 and named by Graham Stuart Thomas in 1951, is said to be the largest in England at over 24 metres wide and 15 metres high and covering three trees. It is covered with panicles of white roses in mid-July. Apparently, 410 flowers were counted on one panicle alone, so it would certainly be a wonderful sight! The Mutabilis on the house wall, climbing 30 feet up to the eaves, would also be spectacular.

Because I do not have the Kiftsgate Rose and am featuring Mutabilis in my post on Italian and German rose gardens, I am featuring William Morris, the name of the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement and remembered by a David Austin rose, which we are growing in our Moon Bed.bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-17-09-52-09Elsing Hall

Elsing Hall, Elsing, Dereham NR20 3DX, UK

http://elsinghall.com/gardens.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6_dKJz66a0

Elsing Hall is a medieval manor house, near Dereham, Norfolk, dating from 1470, complete with a fully functioning moat with an arched access bridge. The house is set in a small park with old beech, plane, oak and lime trees and newer plantings of specimen conifers, sweet chestnuts and birches.

The 20 acre garden, including the 10 acre arboretum, was established over 30 years ago by Shirley and David  Cargill in 1984 with a number of different areas: a Wild Meadow; Bog Garden; Autumn Garden; Moat Walk; the formal Osprey Garden; a Walled Garden; Arboretum; a medieval Stew Pond, South Terrace Lawn and the village cricket pitch.

It has a unique Gingko Avenue and a maturing Pinetum, but its main claim to fame is its huge collection of over 400 Old Roses covering the walls of the house and walled garden, as well as filling the borders, including: Rambling Rector, Albertine, Francis E Lester, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Adélaïde d’Orléans, Veilchenblau, Mme. Alfred Carrière, Cardinal de Richelieu, R. gallica officinalis, Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, Charles de Mills, Empress Josephine, Alba Maxima, Great Maiden’s Blush, Celestial, R. centifolia, Fantin Latour, Ispahan, Kazanlik, Blanche Moreau, Mme Grégoire Staechlin (see photo below), Königan von Dänemark, Phyllis Bide, Constance Spry and Roseraie de l’Hay. The Moss roses lining the Stew Pond are particularly romantic and include Général Kléber and Maréchal Davoust.

The property is now owned by Patrick Lines or Han Yap and the garden is open to groups of 20 or more people by arrangement. It also had an Open Day on the 25 June 2017 and there is guest accommodation in the restored old stables/ coachhouse: http://www.bookcottages.com/cottages/105-1165-elsing-hall-old-stables.htm.

I would love to visit the garden in June, when they are in full bloom, but the other seasons hold promise as well: Snowdrops and aconites in January/ February; drifts of daffodils in March and April, camassias, bearded irises, delphiniums, tulips and peonies in May and the herbaceous borders in July and August.

For more on this lovely garden, read pages 42-47 of the February/ March 2016 edition of the English Garden on: https://www.chelseamagazines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TEGFebMarch2016.pdf.

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9498

My last rose garden for this post is:

Mannington Hall

Saxthorpe, Near Itteringham, Norfolk, NR11 7BB

https://www.manningtongardens.co.uk/

Another moated  medieval country house, dated 1464 and owned by Robert Walpole, the 10th Baron Walpole, Mannington Hall is another 20 acre garden famous for its old roses, with over 1000 varieties. In his book, Visions of Roses, on page 43, Peter Beales describes it as ‘one of the finest and most important collections of historic roses in the world’.

The one acre walled Heritage Rose Garden is a living museum of 1000 years of rose history.  It includes:

Species Rose Border against the entire south wall: R. moyesii Geranium, R. chinensis Viridiflora and R. omeiensis pteracantha;

Medieval Garden: Wattle entrance hurdles and fences,  covered with R. moschata and Rambling Rector; Circular beds of Gallicas (R. gallica officinalis, Rosa Mundi (see photo below), Jenny Duval); Albas (Great Maiden’s Blush); and Damasks (Quatre Saisons; Kazanlik) with Scots Rose, R. pimpinellifolia;

Classical Garden: Roses from 1700 to 1836: Centifolias, Mosses, Bourbons and Noisettes: Champney’s Pink Cluster; Blush Noisette, Aimée Vibert and Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes;

Jekyll Garden: Octagonal garden made up of trellises covered with ramblers and climbers popular with Gertrude Jekyll: Dorothy Perkins; Debutante, Minnehaha, American Pillar, Cupid, Silver Moon and Elegance;

Between the Wars Garden: Hybrid Musks: Ballerina, Buff Beauty, Felicia and Belinda;

Modern Rose Garden: Iceberg, Peace, Piccadilly, Silver Jubilee, Constance Spry, Graham Thomas, Chaucer, Mary Rose, Frühlingsgold, Parkdirektor Riggers and Margeurite Hilling; and La Mortola.

Outside the Heritage Rose Garden is:

Victorian Garden: Mosses, Hybrid Perpetuals: Baronne Prévost and Empereur de Maroc; and Bourbons: Belle de Crécy, Boule de Neige, and Mme Isaac Pereire;

Sweet Briars: Meg Merrilees and Lady Penzance;

Rugosas: Blanc Double de Coubert and Roseraie de l’Hay;

Post-Modernist Garden: Recent rose varieties;

Temple Garden: Rambling Rector; and  Pimpinellifolia collection;

Shrubberies: Trial roses from the 1980s: Sadler’s Wells; William and Mary; John Grooms; and Gallica hybrid, Scharlachglut, scrambling 20 feet into a Kanzan Cherry;

Moat banks covered in R. wichuraiana and Fru Dagmar Hastrup;

House gardens: Mixed borders backed with 10 foot walls, including Golden Showers, James Mason, Kiftsgate, R. bracteata, Ramona and Guinée; Formal beds of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and a R. banksiae lutescens against the south wall of the house. This garden actually has all four Banksian roses: Single and Double Whites and Single and Double Yellows.

There is also a Knot Garden with scented plants, including Bourbon, Louise Odier, Modern Shrub Rose, Anna Pavlova, and a number of R. eglanteria varieties; a Sensory Garden with plants selected for touch, sound and taste, as well as smell and colour; and a 4.3 hectare wet Wildflower Meadow.  It is also possible to stay there with a small low key glamping venture called Amber’s Bell Tents: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/18353490 and http://www.ambersbelltents.co.uk/mannington-hall.

bloggallicasreszd50image-240Tomorrow, I will be posting my bucket list of French Rose Gardens.

Bucket List of United Kingdom Gardens

There are so many wonderful places I would love to visit in the United Kingdom and I could easily visit Britain for its gardens alone! For anyone interested in British gardens, an excellent starting  point is to visit: https://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/.

This site features over 500 properties, which have been grouped into special interest categories: Arboretums and Woodland Plantings; Coastal and Wildlife Gardens; Family Gardens and Royal Gardens; Japanese or Prairie Gardens; Organic Gardens; Topiary, Walled and Water Gardens; and Seasonal Interest Gardens: Autumn Colour and Winter Gardens; and Specialty Gardens focusing on Snowdrops and Daffodils; Bluebells and Rhododendrons in the Spring and glorious Roses in Summer.

Other excellent sites to visit include: http://www.ngs.org.ukhttps://www.gardenvisit.com/  and  http://www.parksandgardens.org.

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9673Given that we live so far away and holiday time is always limited, I had to be so strict with myself and only include my utmost favourites!

While I would adore to visit some of the rightfully popular gardens like Sissinghurst Castle (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden and https://cadyluckleedy.com/2015/09/26/the-national-trust-sissinghurst-gardens-cranbrook-kent-uk/) and Hidcote Manor (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote), my aversion to crowds would outweigh my appreciation, though I realize it is probably impossible to avoid them these days! The 4 ha (9 acre) garden of Sissinghurst Castle has 200, 000 visitors each year, while the 10 acre Hidcote Manor Garden has 175 000 visitors each year, but fortunately, the latter’s website has a wonderful 3D virtual tour as well!

Nevertheless, it’s all a matter of degrees, so  I have not included them, nor have I listed gardens with very limited opening times like Charles Jencks’ Garden of Cosmic Speculation (http://www.scotlandsgardens.org/gardens/garden/6f8a52d7-f7b0-45c2-91fc-999e00d2ac95) or Prince Charles’ organic  garden at Highgrove (https://www.highgrovegardens.com/), described beautifully in his book: The Garden at Highgrove, which I reviewed in my post: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/05/16/inspirational-and-dreamy-garden-books-part-two-books-about-specific-gardens/; or gardens, which we have already visited on previous trips like: Muckross House, Killarney, in Ireland and Inverwewe in Scotland;  Overbecks, Devon and Trebah and the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall; and the Chelsea Physic Garden, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens, though I never did see the Marianne North Gallery at the latter, so feel I would love another visit there!

I will be doing a separate post for my favourite rose gardens! Please note all the photos are from my own garden, not the bucket list gardens, which I am describing,  and are included to add interest and colour to the post. BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0726Here is my bucket list in the United Kingdom!!!

West Dean Gardens

West Dean, Nr Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX

https://www.westdean.org.uk/gardens/explore and https://www.westdean.org.uk/gardens/blog

West Dean Gardens has long been on my radar, not just for its beautifully restored historic gardens, but also for its wealth of courses in conservation (Books, Ceramics, Clocks, Furniture, Metalwork, or Collections Care) and creative arts offered by West Dean College, both at the degrees and diploma level (https://www.westdean.org.uk/study/school-of-creative-arts/degrees-and-diplomas) and a huge variety of short courses, including embroidery and flower arranging. See :   http://westdean.assets.d3r.com/pdfs/original/17984-short-course-brochure-2017.pdf; and http://westdean.assets.d3r.com/pdfs/original/21070-short-courses-winter-2017-2018.pdf.

blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-29-18-26-41How wonderful it would be to stay at West Dean and participate in one of their courses, as well as be able to wander around their gardens in your relaxation time! Here is a link to a map of the gardens: http://westdean.assets.d3r.com/pdfs/original/19218-gardens-leaflet-12pp-2017-low-res-2.pdf.

The highlights include:

A 100 metre (300 foot) long Edwardian pergola, designed by Harold Peto in 1911 and made of stone pillars, linked by wooden overthrows, and covered with rambling roses (Veilchenblau; Sanders White Rambler); clematis; wisteria; honeysuckle and magnolia. The interior herbaceous borders include hostas; pelargoniums; ferns; iris; Dicentra and Spring bulbs. On one end is a gazebo with a mosaic floor of knapped flints and horses’ molars, while on the other end is a sunken garden with low growing plants, bulbs and a small pond.

Walled Kitchen Garden: Originally built in 1804, its current layout was developed in the 1990s and includes 2 cross paths and a perimeter path following the walls, creating 4 central beds and a series of borders against the walls.

The central beds follow a four-crop rotation of annual crops: potatoes; brassicas; legumes; and salad and root crops. Perennial crops are grown against the walls: soft fruit on the western wall; asparagus; rhubarb; sea kale and globe artichokes on the eastern wall and auriculas; lily of the valley; cordonned currants and gooseberries on the southern wall, the latter border also  growing early Spring crops, Summer herbs and late Autumn vegetables.

There is also a hot central flower border (Crocosmia; orange dahlias and yellow Kniphofia); a pear tunnel and espaliered pears and apples at the back. West Dean is famous for its apple collection with over 100 types of apples and 45 types of pears, many of them heritage varieties.

Victorian Glasshouses: There are 13 working Foster and Pearson glasshouses, built between 1890 and 1900, and growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables (figs; grapes; peaches and nectarines; strawberries; 58 different varieties of tomatoes; 75 different chillies; aubergines; cucumbers; melons; ornamental gourds ) and exotics and tropical plants (fuchsias; begonias; bromeliads; ferns; and orchids).

St. Roche’s Arboretum: established in 1830, this 49 acre woodland has a 2.5 mile circuit walk and contains many beautiful old specimen trees (beeches; limes; planes; and cedars), the National Collections of Liriodendrons (Tulip trees) and Aesculus (Horse Chestnuts) and shrubs, including rhododendrons and azaleas, which are a picture in Spring, along with the wildflower meadows and naturalised bulbs (over 500 000).blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-16-18-17-25Wisley

RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB

https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/wisley-blogs/wisley

An important centre for horticultural research and education and the flagship garden and historic home of the Royal Horticultural Society (https://www.rhs.org.uk), since 1903, when it was donated to the RHS by Sir Thomas Hanbury, who established La Mortola on the Italian Riviera.

It is one of four RHS properties, the other three being Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire; Hyde Hall, Essex; and Rosemoor, Devon, though another new RHS property at Bridgewater, Greater Manchester, is opening in 2020.

Wisley is enough for me! Apparently, it is the second-most visited garden after Kew Gardens in the UK – over one million visitors each year! So much for crowds then, though I’m hoping the sheer scale of the gardens will dilute them all! This place is HUGE , as is the website, and full of interesting ideas and inspiration!

Covering over 240 acres, 135 acres of which is open to the public, it has one of the largest plant collections in the world. There are so many different areas and it is worth visiting every area, at least on the website!

Here are the main areas which I would like to see :

The Glasshouse, which covers an area of 10 tennis courts, is 12 metres high, and has 3 different climatic zones (tropical; moist temperate and dry temperate) with 5000 different tender plants. It is surrounded by free-flowing beds of herbaceous plants and 150 metre (500 foot) long borders made up of Piet Oudolf-inspired diagonal ‘rivers’ of flowering perennials (mainly North American prairie species) and ornamental grasses with spectacular seedheads, planted in 2001. Usually including 3 plants to each river, the borders exhibit different combinations of repetitive plantings of: Echinacea; Echinops ritro; Perovskia; Gaura; Helenium; and Eryngium giganteum.

The Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Gardens, including demonstration gardens; an ornamental potager and raised beds of 50 different types of vegetables (350 cultivars); as well as the National Rhubarb Collection;  and a Tea Garden containing Camellia sinesis, as well as chamomile; cornflower; parsley; mint; strawberry; licorice; lemon balm; jasmine; bergamot and rose petals.

The Orchard, which contains 1300 different fruit cultivars, including 100 different types of plums and damsons; 175 different pears and 700 different apples, as well as strawberries; the National Collections of Red and White Currants and Gooseberries; rhubarb; figs and even a vineyard of white wine grapes. Many of the apples and pears are on dwarf root stock and trees are also trained to espaliers and fans.

The Cottage Garden, designed by Penelope Hobhouse in 1990, with lilacs, roses, bulbs and herbaceous perennials in a formal layout; and the 128 metres (420 foot) long Mixed Borders, which bloom from late Spring to Autumn, with their peak being in July and August. They contain clematis; phlox; helenium; salvias; nepetas; dahlias; sedums; asters; monkshood; helichrysum; monarda; culvers’ root; geranium; globe artichoke; and ornamental grasses.

The Walled Garden displaying Alternatives to Box and Foliage Plants (yew topiary, canes and grasses and over 50 cultivars of hostas).

The Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, planted in 2007 and containing disease- and pest-resistant, repeat-flowering David Austin and Harkness Shrub  Roses, climbers and scramblers, under-planted with camassias; alliums; agapanthus; and ornamental grasses.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-57The Rock Garden, home to alpines; small weeping trees; dwarf conifers; and ferns; with a Japanese- style landscape; grotto and ponds; the Alpine Meadow, full of Spring crocus (National Collection); hoop petticoat daffodils; erythronium; snowdrops; and fritillaries, as well as primulas and hellebores; and Howard’s Field with the National Heather Collection.

The Exotic Garden, full of tropical looking plants with large leaves and vibrant flowers), which can be grown outdoors in the UK Summer, including dahlias; gingers; cannas; bananas and palms; and the Mediterranean Terraces, showcasing the plants of Chile; Australia; New Zealand and South Africa, including eucalypts; acacias; callistemons; pittosporum; abutilons; loquats; lavender, rosemary; cacti and succulents. I imagine I would feel right at home here!

Bowles Corner, dedicated to EA Bowles, a past president of the RHS and lover of ‘demented’ plants, those of unusual habit or appearance like  Corkscrew hazel, Corylus contorta, or plants with variegated leaves, as well as his beloved Galanthus; Crocus; Colchicum and hellebores; and the Bonsai Walk showcasing hardy, outdoor, miniature,  40 to 80 year old evergreen, deciduous and flowering bonsai trees.

There are a number of areas, showcasing trees including:

Seven Acres with its Winter Walk with trees chosen for their Winter colour, scent, shape and structure, including Snakebark Maples; Tibetan Cherry; Dogwoods and Willows, underplanted with witch hazel; daphnes; iris; and hellebores.

Oakwood, a wild area with moist soil and light shade and the first garden of the original property, containing hostas; primulas; foxgloves; Trillium; Gunnera; Giant Himalayan Lilies; kalmias; camellias; rhododendrons and magnolias.

Pinetum, the oldest tree collection at Wisley and the Jubilee Arboretum, where trees are grouped for easy comparison eg shade trees; narrow upright trees; weeping trees; blossom trees; fruit trees; and Autumn foliage trees, and the woodland garden of Battleston Hill, complete with stumpery!

Wisley also has an excellent garden library open to the public, as well as a research library; and holds a large number of garden-related courses from Garden Design; Botany for Gardeners: Photosynthesis; Social Media for Gardeners; Plant Identification; Seed Harvesting and Preparation ; Propagation; Tool Care; and Winter Pruning; to Plant Photography; Screen Printing and Painting; Bees in Watercolour; and Christmas Wreaths. They also hold a number of craft and design shows and a major flower show throughout the year.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-18 10.08.01Ryton Organic Garden

Wolston Lane, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 3LG

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/ryton

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/news

Given our interest in organic horticulture, this garden, the HQ of  Garden Organic, a charity organization promoting organic farming and gardening, is also a must-visit for us!  Garden Organic began in 1954 as the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA).

The 10 acre garden is divided into 30 individually-themed display gardens,  including : the Vegetable Way, a Herb Garden, Pest and Disease Control, World’s Biggest Flowerpot, Soft Fruit Gardens, Biodynamic Garden, an Allotment Garden, a Bee Garden, All Muck and Magic TV Garden ; a Children’s Garden and the famous Vegetable Kingdom, a visitor centre, packed full of interactive displays describing the history of vegetables in the United Kingdom.

All gardens are managed organically and show all aspects of horticulture from composting, companion planting  and pest and disease control to fruit and vegetable production; herbs; herbaceous plantings; roses; shrubberies; and lawns, as well as large conservation areas: native trees; a wildflower meadow and cornfield; a lake; and peek-in RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)  urban wildlife garden. It sounds like a haven for birds and bees!blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-16-18-10-36They hold regular courses in growing orchard trees and organic or cutting-edge vegetables; seed saving; organic and biodynamic gardening; moon planting; composting; and conservation and sustainability, as well as a new Certificate in Organic Horticulture. At Ryton, they have a large organic research centre and a heritage seed library and are also involved in sustainable farming projects in Africa and India.

Their website is an excellent resource for organic growers, especially their section  on frequently asked questions, grouped under the following subject areas: Composting, Containers, Diseases, Disorders, Fruit, Ornamentals (Flowers), Pests, Propagation, Soil Management, Vegetables, Water use, Weeds, Wildlife and General.blognovgarden20reszdimg_0425Great Dixter

High Park Close, Northiam, Rye, East Sussex, TN 31 6 PH

https://www.greatdixter.co.uk

https://www.nowness.com/series/great-gardens/the-gardeners-garden-great-dixter

The family home of garden writer Christopher Lloyd (1921-2006), Great Dixter was bought by his father Nathaniel in 1912. The fifteenth-century medieval hall house was remodelled by Edwin Lutyens from 1912 to 1920. Originally, there was no garden, but Nathaniel and his wife, Daisy, developed an Arts and Crafts garden, designed by Lutyens, around the old buildings. Some of Lutyens’ hallmarks in the garden were: curving yew hedges; decorative tiling and the incorporation of farm buildings into his garden design.

Christopher, who was renowned for his originality and verve; his adventurous trials and experiments with new growing methods and plants; his  dramatic plant combinations; and his successional planting, died in 2006 and his work has been continued under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett, his gardener since the early 1990s and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.

Fergus and his team have continued to experiment with colour, texture and scale, producing high-impact visual displays and creating an increasingly naturalistic look to the garden using blowsy self-sowers like cow parsley. The garden is in constant flux , the planting schemes different every year. Great Dixter is famous for its colour combinations like lime-green euphorbias and red tulips;and  its use of link plants like Thalictrum; forget-me-knots; Verbena bonariensis and bronze fennel.

It is a high maintenance garden, but has an informal feel. Most of the plants are propagated at Great Dixter and are watered with their own bore water and fed with organic compost, with minimal use of chemicals.

While still relatively popular, it gets nowhere near the numbers of neighbouring Sissinghurst, at just over 50, 000 visitors per year, thanks in part to Fergus’s insistence on no signage in the garden; keeping the shop size small; and the paths narrow.blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-05-18-15-11The website has an excellent interactive map, which describes each part of the 24 hectare garden. I would particularly like to see:

The Wildflower Meadow at the entrance to the house, cut twice a year in August and late Autumn and containing many different British orchids, wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) ; snakeshead fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) and North American bulb, Camassia quamash; and the Upper Moat, Daisy Lloyd’s ‘Botticelli Garden’, studded with primulas and Snake’s head fritillaries; meadowsweet and  Autumn flowering crocuses, Crocus nudiflorus and Crocus speciosus.

Nathaniel’s Yew Topiary Lawn, clipped once a year and the Peacock Garden with its parliament of 18 topiary peacocks and two-foot tall hedges of white and purple Aster lateriflorus ‘Horizontalis’ and a row of  indigo blue ‘English’ iris, I. latifolia.

The Exotic Garden, a tropical-looking late summer to autumn garden with large leaves and brightly coloured dahlias and cannas; a haze of purple from self-sown Verbena bonariensis, a Great Dixter signature plant; a white flowering Escallonia bifida, full of  butterflies; and four hardy Japanese banana plants, Musa basjoo.

The Orchard, a huge meadow stretching almost the whole south side of the garden, containing apples, pears, plums, hawthorns and crabs and  long grass with communities of crocuses, daffodils, erythroniums, wood anemones, four types of terrestrial orchid, and Adder’s Tongue ferns; and The Long Border, a very famous feature of Great Dixter, reached by Lutyens’ circular steps, and separated from the informality of the orchard meadow, by a broad flagstone path and a strip of mown grass.

This closely woven exuberant tapestry of  mixed  shrubs, climbers, perennials, annuals and grasses blooms from from April to October, with its peak in High Summer (Mid June to mid-August).

The Prairie, a meadow of long grass; Common Spotted and Twayblade orchids ; and  North American prairie plants,  Veronicastrum virginicum, Eryngium yuccifolium, and Helianthus grossaserratus.

The High Garden, an Edwardian kitchen design ,with paths flanked by fairly narrow flower borders of oriental poppies and lupins, backed by espalier fruit trees, hiding the Vegetable Garden.  See Aaron Bertelsen’s blog : https://dixtervegetablegarden.wordpress.com/.

Great Dixter holds Spring and Autumn Plant Fairs; a series of lectures and symposiums and is a centre for horticultural education and work experience.blogdecgarden20reszdimg_0127While in the same area, it would be worth visiting Perch Farm, if it coincided with either one of their open days or even better a course in flower arranging or cutting gardens! See: https://www.sarahraven.com and

https://www.gardenista.com/posts/garden-visit-sarah-raven-perch-hill-east-sussex-england/.

Interestingly, Christopher Lloyd is one of Sarah’s heroes! I have already discussed her wonderful garden in my post on Sarah Raven’s books in: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/03/21/books-on-specific-types-of-gardens-part-one-cutting-gardens-cottage-gardens-and-herb-gardens/.

blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-29-17-27-54Newby Hall and Gardens

Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5AE

http://www.newbyhall.com/

A forty acre (16 hectares) garden designed and created by the present owner’s grandfather, Major Edward Compton, who inherited Newby in 1921 and gardened for over 50 years till his death in 1977. He designed a labour-intensive ‘garden for all seasons’ in compartmented formal rooms off a main axis, created with a broad grass walk, running from the south front of the house down to the River Ure and flanked by double herbaceous borders against double yew hedges.

His son, Robin Compton, and Robin’s wife, Jane, were also passionately interested in the garden, flowers and colour and design. They totally restored and replanted these lovely gardens over a ten year period, winning the BTA Heritage Award and the HHA/Christie’s Garden of the Year Award. The gardens are now run by Mrs Lucinda Compton with Head Gardener, Mark Jackson.

Like the other gardens featured, it has many fascinating garden areas, which are described in depth on the website, but the areas I would most like to see include the following:

Double Herbaceous Borders

172 metres long with a modern colour palette of soft pastels; vibrant lilacs; magenta pinks; lime green; claret and silver. Plants include architectural Cynara; Eryngium; Echinops; and Giant Scotch Thistle Onopordum acanthium ; Delphinium cultivars and Campanula lactiflora; Crambe cordifolia; Geranium and Origanum; asters; dahlias; sedums and  undulating drifts of colourful flowering perennials like Echinacea, Lythrum, Sanguisorba and Veronicastrum .

The Autumn Garden

A compartmental walled garden  containing Clerodendron trichotomum var. fargessii; Hydrangea quercifolia and  Hydrangea aspera Villosa Group and 40 late Summer flowering herbaceous Salvias; 800 dahlias in exotic purples, radiant reds, blousy pinks, moody maroons; Sedum; Echinacea; Phlox; and Verbena bonariensis.

The Rose Garden, mainly old-fashioned once-flowering hybrids and cultivars of Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses, the peak season being June into July, as well as some more modern repeat-flowering David Austin hybrids; underplanted with annuals like Salvia, Cleome, and Cosmos. The photographs on the website look so beautiful!blogsummer-gardenreszd20img_0323The Water Garden, created by a man-made stream following a slope down into a pool. Plantings include: the famous soft pastel Harlow Carr primulas; Iris; Gunnera manicata; ornamental rhubarb Rheum palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’; Lysichiton americanum (Bog Arum); Brunnera; Darmera peltata; and hostas; camellias; rhododendrons and bamboos.

The East Rock Garden, the brain-child of Miss Ellen Willmott in the early 1900s, containing Euonymus; Nicotiana; Osmanthus; Viburnum; Cistus ; foxgloves; Ceanothus; and an impressively-striped Acer tegmentosum ‘White Tigress’; Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’; and hundreds of dark ‘Havran’ Tulips, against a backdrop of Magnolia stellata and Camellia japonica magnoliaeflora..

The White Garden, containing a lily pond and two identical flower beds with variety of white herbaceous perennials, bulbs and annuals, providing harmony and contrast with different heights, flowering times, scents, foliages and textures.

The Woodland Garden, an informal relaxed garden with many plants collected by ‘Chinese’ Ernest Wilson, including the ‘Pocket Handkerchief Tree’, Davidia involucrata, underplanted with epimediums; Himalayan Birch, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ; the Snowdrop Tree, Halesia carolina; and Snowbell Tree, Styrax hemsleyana.

The Tropical Garden, with its dense plantings of exotic-looking shrubs and plants with large lush foliage: Yuccas (Adam’s Needle), Eryngiums (Sea Holly), and Phormiums, backed by Eucalyptus gunnii, different Paulownias (the Foxglove Tree) and Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum awabuki). Perennials are interspersed with colourful tender exotics like Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican Sunflower), Leonotis leonorus (Lion’s Tail), Phytolacca ‘Lakka Boom’ and the Castor Oil plant (Ricinus sp.). Whilst Summer is the best time to see the Tropical Garden, there is a wonderful show of flowering magnolias in Spring.

The Beacon Garden, planted to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, with a tall beacon in its centre, under-planted with hundreds of Narcissi, and surrounded by four beds planted with a central Weeping Pear Pyrus salicifolia and pale pink and deep red peonies (Paeonia officinalis and Paeonia lactiflora).

The Curving Pergola, covered with the golden racemes of  Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’ in late May/ June.

The Orchard Garden with a central circular bed and a geometric arrangement of Quince and Apple trees. Four Philadelphus hedges create a square-within-a-square, all softened by the late Spring blossoms of fruit trees, flowering Philadelphus hedges and Crab Apple (‘Red Sentinel’) espaliers. Long grass is interspersed with naturalised Tulipa sylvestris and Fritillaria meleagris. The top bed of the Orchard Garden contains magnolias; a large Wisteria and a Banksiae lutea rose, as well as smaller perennials and annuals, including veronicas and diascias. The East bed contains Rosa ‘Alfred Carrière’ and Rosa ‘Alchemist’.

The National Cornus Collection, which contains over 100 specimens with 30 species and 76 different hybrids and forms, including my Cornus ‘Norman Hadden’, photo below.blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-06-18-28-38There are so many smaller gardens I would love to visit as well. Here are three of my favourites:

Virginia and Leonard Wolff’s Monks House (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/monks-house) for its bulbs, thousands planted by Leonard, old roses, colour, literary history and beautiful interiors, as described by Caroline Zoob in her beautiful book, Virginia Wolff’s Garden (see my post: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/05/16/inspirational-and-dreamy-garden-books-part-two-books-about-specific-gardens/);blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-29-12-09-48Snowshill Manor Garden (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor-and-garden and https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000781), an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, designed and built from 1920 to 1923 by MH Baillie Scott and owned by Edwardian architect, Charles Wade, who collected a fascinating array of treasures (22 000 of them in fact, chosen for their colour, craftsmanship and design) from tiny toys to Samurai armour ; masks to spinning wheels; musical instruments to fine clocks; and model boats to bicycles, all of which he stored in the house, preferring to live in the smaller Priest’s House in the grounds.

Typical of the period and style, the garden is a series of outside with terraces and ponds, and formal beds, full of colour and scent. Many of the garden ornaments are painted ‘Wade Blue’, a soft powdery blue, which harmonises with the Cotswold stone and the blue/purple planting theme.

There is also an ancient dovecote, a pool, a model village, Wolf’s Cove, which was built by Charles Wade, a kitchen garden, orchards and some small fields with sheep. Apparently, he used to entertain up to 500 guests each year, including Edwin Lutyens, John Masefield, J B Priestly, Virginia Woolf and, in 1937, Queen Mary!  And finally….blognovgarden20reszdimg_0048Tintinhull Garden (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tintinhull-garden), started  in 1933 by Phyllis Reiss and developed further in the 1980s by internationally-acclaimed garden writer and designer, Penelope Hobhouse, who described it so beautifully in her books: On Gardening; Garden Style; and Colour in Your Garden (See my post : https://candeloblooms.com/2017/02/21/garden-guides-and-garden-design-books/).

The garden is broken up into intimate garden rooms, linked by axes and paths, and the great diversity of plantings can be investigated through the official website, which has illustrated lists of all the plants used in the different areas of her garden.BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_1083On Thursday, we will cross over to the continent to explore a few French gardens on my bucket list!

Inspirational and Dreamy Garden Books: Part Two: Books about Specific Gardens

Having had our appetite whetted by some  wonderful garden travel books in my last book post, it is now time to visit some of my garden books, devoted to specific gardens.

Books about Specific Gardens.

First stop, France…

Monet’s Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny by Vivian Russell 1995

We were lucky enough to visit this beautiful garden in 1994, along with several busloads of tourists, though Ross was so clever that none of his photographs contained another living soul! This is such a lovely book and a wonderful reminder of our day there, enjoying the beautiful roses and the famous water garden, as seen in the first photo below. The second photo is my daughter, Jen, on her second visit years later, on the famous wisteria-covered bridge:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0643BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%P1190188While we were there in early Summer and we also have seen my daughter’s photographs of Giverny in Spring with the tulips in full bloom, it is wonderful to be able to see photographs of the garden in other seasons as well. The photos in this book are absolutely stunning and well do justice to Monet’s vision! Here is our photo of the Summer roses in full bloom in 1994:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0645Incidentally, Vivian Russell also directed Peter Beales’ romantic video ‘A Celebration of Old Roses’, which I discussed in my post on Favourite Rose Books (https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/), so she is the perfect author for a book about this celebrated artist. This is my daughter Jen’s Spring photo of Monet’s beautiful house:BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190241

I have always loved his paintings, indeed that of all the Impressionists, which we were lucky enough to see in their old light-filled venue at Jeu de Paume on my first trip to Paris in 1984.  In this book, Vivian explores the history of Impressionism, Monet’s life and the relationship between Monet, the artist, and Monet, the gardener, especially in relation to light and atmosphere, as well as the daily maintenance and practical aspects of the garden in all seasons. She has keyed watercolour maps of both the flower garden and water garden in the front. It is certainly a very beautiful book!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (444)

Renoir’s Garden by Derek Fell 1991

Renoir is another favourite Impressionist artist, but unfortunately we were not aware of his garden at Les Collettes until after our trip! Renoir’s garden is quite different to Giverny. While Monet was heavily influenced by informal English cottage gardens and Japanese stroll gardens and used plants like paints on a palette to transform a neglected site into his vision of a flowering paradise, Renoir cherished the age, history, peace, tranquillity and stability of the old farmhouse garden and was keen to preserve the ancient olive and orange groves and market garden. Situated in Cagnes in Southern France, the climate and plant selection are totally different too, although like Monet and myself, Renoir loved his roses and grew them everywhere, as well as painting them on all his women! I adore Renoir’s beautiful sumptuous nudes and portraits and I loved this book! We will definitely visit Les Collettes if we ever visit France again! I also loved the beautiful 2012 film, simply titled ‘Renoir’ about his final days and his last model Andrée Heuschling , who became his son Jean’s first wife and starred in nine of his silent movies under the name of Catherine Hessling (See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2150332/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTiQ_quEPA for the trailer), though I believe much of the footage was shot in the gardens of Domaine du Rayol. See: http://www.domainedurayol.org/. It can currently be seen on SBS On Demand and is such a sensuous romantic film. Like the previous book, there are watercolour plans of the garden, the formal and informal borders and a map of France, as well as a list of the plants in the back.

BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (445)

Britain

The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit 1997

We did however visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan (http://heligan.com/) in Cornwall in 1994, three years before the publication of this book, when they were in the middle of restoring this grand old Victorian garden, which had been neglected for 70 years. It has been described by The Times as ‘the garden restoration of the century’ and was masterminded by John Nelson and the author of this book, Tim Smit, who has since gone on to build the Eden Project. See: http://www.edenproject.com/. Here are our photos of Heligan from a distance:BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (465) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (466) - CopyThe book chronicles the whole restoration project from the rediscovery of the gardens in 1990 to the restoration of the Italian Garden  (1991) and the Northern Summerhouse (1992) and the opening of the garden in Easter 1992. Here are some of our 1994 photos:BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (465)BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (466)BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (470) - Copy This was followed by the redevelopment of the Ravine (old Alpine Garden); Flora’s Green, containing many hybrid rhododendrons of the Hooker collection; the New Zealand garden (1st photo above); the crystal-lined Grotto; the Jungle and its lake (2nd and 3rd photo above); the Walled Vegetable Garden with its straw bee skeps in hollows in the wall (1st photo below) and heated greenhouses (2nd and 3rd photos); and the Melon Garden, all by our visit in 1994.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (467) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (469) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (468) - Copy Since then, the Flower Garden and Sundial garden have come into their own and the Lost Valley and its Water Meadow have been restored. I can see we will have to pay a second visit, but in the mean time, we can watch one of the many videos about this highly popular garden in Britain!

BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (441)

The book was published in conjunction with Channel Four, which produced a six part series directed by Vivianne Howard and winner of Best Documentary TV series by the Garden Writers Guild. An interview with the director and the people involved can be viewed on: https://vimeo.com/109851192.

More footage of the garden can also be seen on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c48IK05tOZg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq-vVJGmyOc, only two of the many choices on You Tube!

The Garden at Highgrove by H.R.H The Prince of Wales and Candida Lycett Green 2000  is another garden on my bucket-list! I so admire Prince Charles for his far-sighted vision and enthusiasm, his courage for supporting non-mainstream causes and viewpoints, which none-the-less are growing in popularity, like environment, organic agriculture, traditional arts and crafts, spiritual aspects or just sheer beauty in architecture! He is such an interesting and worthwhile man and I will have more on his enterprises in a future post on environmental books, but here I will focus on his wonderful garden at Highgrove House (https://www.highgrovegardens.com/), his home since 1980, in Gloucestershire, where he puts his principles and theories into action! It too is a highly visited gardening mecca, which must be booked way ahead, is quite expensive to visit (the proceeds all going to the Prince’s charities) and has a strict ‘No Photography’ rule, so I am happy to say that there is also a lovely dreamy video about this garden, which gives you an in-depth look without the crowds or time limits! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbJgNXgppkI. David Attenborough has also narrated ‘Highgrove: A Prince’s Legacy’ in his 2003 series of ‘Natural World‘ (Season 21, Episode 13). There is even a garden blog on : https://www.highgrovegardens.com/about-highgrove-gardens/the-garden-now/.

This is a lovely book with a very logical sequence of chapters from the setting and history of the estate to the view from the house , which includes the Sundial Garden and Terrace Garden, the Thyme Walk (over 20 varieties of thyme) and the Fountain Garden; the Cottage Garden, which was developed under the guidance of Rosemary Verey, and the Savill Gardens; the Wildflower Meadow, a 4 acre wild garden containing 30 different species of endangered plants, and Woodland Garden with the National Collection of Beeches; William Bertram’s wonderful tree house ; Julian and Isabel Bannermans’ fern pyramid and Wall of Gifts; the Stumpery with its green oak temples and hosta collection; a recycled stone water feature and the Japanese Garden; and finally, the Arboretum with its Autumn Walk; Spring Walk, Azalea Walk and The Sanctuary, built in 1999 to commemorate the Millenium as an expression of thanksgiving to God and blessed by the Bishop of London in January 2000; and the highly productive Walled Garden, filled with roses, flowers, vegetables and espaliered fruit trees and sweet pea tunnels. The whole garden is run along organic lines with sustainable practices; recycling; rainwater tanks and a bore; reed bed sewage systems; solar panels and composting and other natural fertilizers. It is so inspiring and uplifting, as well as very practical! There are comprehensive plant listings for each area in the back of the book.

Since the publication of the book in 2000, Emma Clark has designed an Islamic Carpet Garden, based on two of the Turkish carpets in Highgrove house, the design winning silver at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2001: See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2591531/Prince-Charles-Highgrove-exclusive-JULY-Turkish-delight-glorious-green-spaces.html. Emma is an expert in the art of the Islamic garden, in fact that is the very title of her book: The Art of the Islamic Garden, 2004, an essential read for those interested in developing such a beautiful garden! See: https://www.psta.org.uk/about/publications/emma-clark and http://theislamicmonthly.com/the-art-of-the-islamic-garden/ and https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Art-Islamic-Garden-Emma-Clark/1847972047. She is also heavily involved with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, but more about that wonderful institution in my future post on environmental books!

There is also a Southern Hemisphere Garden with ferns, tree ferns, palms and eucalypts; an Italian garden; a Black-and-White Garden (white lupins and peonies and black grasses) and a Topiary Walk with six-foot high rounded balls of yew.

A beautiful and inspirational book, which should be included in every horticultural library!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (442)Virginia Woolf’s Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk’s House by Caroline Zoob 2013

When we left London, in 1994, we stayed at a Bed-and-Breakfast in Firle, a small village in East Sussex, which is still part of the estate of Lord Gage and his family and very near Virginia Woolf’s house, Monk’s House, at Rodmell, now owned by National Trust. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/monks-house. Caroline and her husband rented Monk’s House from the National Trust for 10 years and the result is this wonderful book. Caroline is a fellow hand embroiderer, so this was the perfect gift for me! How I would dearly love to join her for one of her week-long embroidery and mixed media workshops in France. See : http://carolinezoob.co.uk/join-me-for-a-week-of-workshops-in-france-september-2017/ and http://carolinezoob.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Caroline-Zoob-Workshop-France.pdf. But back to her book!

This is another one of those beautiful dreamy books, which I could not be without! The colour photographs of the house and garden are superb and are interspersed with original black-and-white photographs; and the watercolour garden map and keyed planting plans and embroidery panels of the different sections of the garden are so beautifully executed and reason enough to buy this book! The seven chapters tell the story of the house and garden from the time Virginia and Leonard Woolf owned Monk’s House (1919) to the present day. The Orchard, Fig Tree Garden, Millstone Terrace, Fishpond Garden, Virginia’s Bedroom Garden, the Flower Walk, The Italian Garden, the Terrace, the Writing Lodge, the Walled Garden, the Vegetable Garden, the Rear Lawn Garden and the Conservatory are all lovingly described in much detail and include many quotes by Leonard and Virginia and constant references to her writings. While Virginia enjoyed her garden, it was Leonard who was the main driving force. He also loved his roses and became an expert horticulturalist over the development of the garden, continuing well into his late 80s.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (443)

I have also always been fascinated by Virginia’s sister, Vanessa Bell, and the Bloomsbury Group and would also love to visit her home at Charleston, Firle (http://www.charleston.org.uk/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x28hGsR8Cvc). Virginia used to walk the six miles from Monk’s House, across the river and along the South Downs to Charleston, the journey retraced and described in this lovely blog post: http://thoughtsofthecommonreader.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/in-footsteps-of-virginia-woolf.html. Even though Charleston was closed during our stay, we did get to see the murals painted by Duncan Grant and Vanessa and Quentin Bell in the Church of St Michael and All Angels at Berwick: http://www.roughwood.net/ChurchAlbum/EastSussex/Berwick/BerwickStMichael2004.htm and http://www.berwickchurch.org.uk/bloomsbury%20at%20berwick%20home.html.

BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (464) - CopyBlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd50%Image (464)Here is a link to the garden pages of the Charleston official website: http://www.charleston.org.uk/visit/at-charleston/garden/.

The 3,000 Mile Garden: A Magical Correspondence Between Two Passionate Gardeners  by Roger Phillips and Leslie Land 1992/ 1995

Without taking away from books with beautiful photos, if a book can grab you with its text alone, then it truly does belong in this post about dreamy and inspirational gardens. This delightful little paperback is based on a four-year long correspondence between Roger Phillips, the well-known British garden writer and horticulturalist and Leslie Land, an American cookery and garden writer. They each write about their own gardens – Roger at Eccleston Square, a three acre private locked community garden for use by the residents of the surrounding flats, which we saw on our first visit to London in 1984, 3 years after Roger started managing the garden, and Leslie at her small cottage garden in rural Cushing, Maine, on the east coast of America, 3000 miles away! The share their passions for gardening, food and the good life and exchange ideas, bed plans, pressed  flowers, practical tips and recipes. I loved Leslie’s description of poaching a large pair of salmon in a bath tub outside (page 267) and have often used her excuse for delay of ‘having had a severe attack of life’ (page 32)! The letters between the two gardeners are delightful – highly entertaining and amusing, as Leslie had quite an earthy sense of humour – I loved some of her slightly risqué sketches! Sadly, Leslie is no longer with us, having died too early at age 66 years in 2013. Channel Four produced a six-part series based on the book in 1994.

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United States of America

While I do not own many American garden books, one which I would not be without is:

Tasha Tudor’s Garden by Tovah Martin 1994

A new discovery and purchase, following a recommendation by a fellow blogger The Wildlife Gardener : https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/finding-my-happy-place/ and https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/my-favorite-american-gardener-tasha-tudor/. My thanks again for the recommendation! It is every bit as lovely as the above posts describe. For those of us, who espouse a simpler, more self-sufficient lifestyle, Tasha set a wonderful example! Not only did she grow all her own food, raise chickens and Nubian goats and make all her own dairy products on her 250 acre farm, 10 acres of which were devoted to vegetables and flowers, but she also spun her own yarn, weaving it into cloth, from which she made her own clothing and quilts, and even made marionettes and exquisite dolls’ houses! She gardened right up until her death in 2008, aged 92, and while her gardens may not be as beautiful as they once were, at least we can enjoy them through the wonderful photographs by Richard W. Brown in this lovely book, which also includes Tasha’s delightful artwork, more of which can be seen at: http://www.theworldoftashatudor.com/cgi-bin/cellardoor/index.html. It is such a romantic dreamy book and I am now keen to read: ‘The Private World of Tasha Tudor’ by the same author. See: https://www.amazon.com/Private-World-Tasha-Tudor/dp/0316112925/ref=la_B000APGDO2_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1357841060&sr=1-3.BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (447)

My final post on Dreamy and Inspirational Gardens will be posted at the end of June and features books about Australian Gardens, as well as Specific Plants.