Beth Chatto’s Garden at Elmstead Market is a remarkable achievement! And her gardening philosophy is so simple – grow plants in an environment to which they are adapted. I came across her ideas at the Chelsea Flower Show when she first started exhibiting in 1975 and even have some of the original catalogues. Yesterday I visited her garden for the first time in many years and it is beautiful – do go! Sadly I shot some my worst photographs for a long time – I apologise.
The Walled Garden was redesigned in 1991 when ‘..the space was divided into several contrasting ‘ornamental gardens’. These include spectacular double-sided herbaceous borders, Italian garden, formal rose parterre (with over 150 varieties of rose), fruit and vegetable garden, glass house, rustic temple, statues, fountains and Jeppe Hein’s ‘Waterflame’..’. It was a very gloomy, windy, chilly day so the photographs are rather sombre.
The Italian Garden is on the left as one’s walks into the Walled Garden – a cool, green, elegant space – lovely.
The Formal Rose Garden is opposite the Italian Garden and very ‘English’, with beds, borders, statues, and fountains.
There are two very large fruit and vegetable gardens in the Walled Garden, with lots of espaliered fruit trees, and even fruit trees grown over arches. It seemed to me that the emphasis was on creating beautiful gardens rather than heavily productive vegetable beds – but perhaps I am wrong..?
The dahlia border on one side of the fruit and vegetables was interesting because the flowers are grown in squares of supporting canes. There were some wonderful blooms, including Gerry Hoek, a dahlia which my mother loved to grow and which I remember from my childhood in Pretoria.
The Mediterranean Garden has box hedging and a fountain and was peaceful.
Alongside the walls was this formal garden – there are 5 acres to fill!
The herbaceous borders in the middle of the Walled Garden are English in style and quite startling after wandering through Piet Oudolf’s swathes of colour at Pensthorpe.
There was even a rustic temple!
And there were beautiful hydrangeas along the outside ‘walls’ of the Walled Garden.
Houghton Hall is situated in North Norfolk and one of the most extraordinary grand country estates I have ever seen – opulent, lavish, elegant, and with an amazing walled garden.
On a hot day, less windy than it has been, I visited RHS Hyde Hall.
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve is a wonderful site near the North Norfolk coast. I visited in order to see the Millennium Garden designed by Piet Oudolf, but there are other gardens, walks, birds, and activities for children. And the scones and homemade cakes are very good too! Do try to visit this wonderful, magical place.
I visited Pensthorpe to see the Millennium Garden designed by Piet Oudolf – it was heavenly!
Another idea for the sloping site would be to use dogwoods – different varieties of Cornus. This would create a leafy bank, with soft greens and whites, and coloured bark in the winter. Growth could and must be controlled by pruning early in the spring. But I wonder if the site is damp enough? And is this the right ‘image’?