One of the great pleasures of being a gardener is visiting other people’s gardens and admiring their plants, planting combinations, garden furniture and ornaments, and overall design. (In other words, Being Nosey and Getting Ideas.) One of my favourite private gardens belongs to my friend Mrs Ford* and she very kindly agreed to let me take some photographs this morning to show you.
Her garden wraps around one side and the rear of her house, with an east-north-east aspect, and is mostly shaded in the winter but sunny in summer. Over the years she has been creating a beautiful, generous garden featuring a romantic English border which is at its peak in June. There is also a kitchen garden area with four raised beds, a small wildlife pond, climbing roses and honeysuckle clothing the house walls, two seating areas (one covered) and several fruit trees. She has very cleverly planted around the boundary with roses and fruit trees which gives the garden a very secluded feel. It’s an oasis of lush greenery and gorgeous fragrant blooms, and is the perfect place to sit and chat over coffee.
Inspired by many visits to Sissinghurst, the deep border is choc-a-bloc with hardy geraniums, lavenders, alliums, poppies, peonies (‘Bowl of Beauty’), grasses, roses (‘Boscobel’, ‘Charles de Mills’, ‘Thomas a Becket’), Philadelphus ‘Belle Etiole’, Alchemilla mollis, Osteospermum, aquilegia, gladioli, Acanthus mollis, Bergenia… Her gardening philosophy is to pack in as many plants as possible, preferably scented, with glorious colours and foliage. I love the abundant planting with its contrasting foliage and pops of vibrant colour. While I was there, the warm sun came out, a couple of butterflies fluttered among the flowers, birds sang and I wondered how long I could eek out my visit before I outstayed my welcome.
The fruits in the top left photo are mulberries – although they look rather unappetising at this stage, they ripen to large berries that look like giant purple raspberries.
Adorable springer spaniel Patch and Tortoise, who both like to be where the action is, enjoying the garden, too.
*Mrs Ford writes the fabulous Mrs Ford’s Diary . She hasn’t posted for a while but is very much thriving and storing away golden nuggets of Village Life for possible future posts. Fingers crossed 🙂