Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A private garden

Another summer NGS visit, this time to a very private and secluded garden. 

Hemmed in on all sides the access is through the front door and out via the kitchen. No peeping over the garden wall at this one!

The plot itself is narrow but the length of the single story home, which looks to be an outbuilding conversion.

It's in shade from the nearest building most of the day and the original outlook from the kitchen was this tall brick wall. 

Not an unpleasant view but not ideal either, since the outdoor space is to the right behind yet another wall.

 To make a truly awful comment it was all wall to wall with walls all around.

But a caped garden designer came to the rescue.
Clever design addresses the garden diagonally and uses strong geometric lines on the floorscape. 

This draws the eye along the length of the plot and makes the space appear larger when viewed at an angle.

Reinforce this with brilliant planting and the seating at the far corner of the garden completely filters the view of the house. This creates a wonderful feeling of isolation and privacy. 

A great relaxing spot.

Convenient seating nearer the house provides a cosy eating and drinking area for the owners.

Throw in a few box hedges to add to the structure and all year round appeal and you have the perfect outside space. 

I especially like how the floorscape reflects the surroundings; brick from the walls, terracotta from the roofs and muted stone paving to reflect the access route.

More importantly the view from the kitchen is now a delight, with tall grasses and herbaceous perennials creating a stunning outlook. 


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Another garden

I have a confession to make before I go any further; I have always been obsessed and madly in love with walled gardens. 

I love the historical context of them and, in many cases, the totally romantic, decadent and slightly faded grandeur image.

One such garden is that at Norton Conyers, just slightly north of Ripon.


              Surrounded by high brick walls of a wonderful mellow hue

            the garden entrance is a short walk from a grassed parking area. 

It's not immediately obvious (if the gate is open) so that you have to peep in to see if you are in the right place. 
                                       Very Secret Garden-ish!

Amazingly there is no charge to visit the garden, although donations for its upkeep are always welcome. 

And how unusual is that?

There's a long herbaceous border on your right as you enter, with tempting views to the left through tall planting. 

As you move on, you see the reverse of the greenhouses and a central stone building.

This houses a short history of the house/garden and by standing in the doorway a wonderful view of the double herbaceous borders can be had.

Seen from the gates opening onto parkland, the view is even more stunning.

          I think this is a hidden gem and deserves to be more widely known, but do ring and check opening times first. 

During my visit, on a hot Sunday summer's afternoon, there were only five other people present.

I felt very privileged to be able to sit and enjoy the tranquility and ambience.

Not to mention imagining what wonderful stories the garden could tell.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Garden visits

We are so lucky here in Yorkshire to have so many wonderful gardens to visit and a wealth of ones open to an enthusiastic public under the National Gardens Scheme.
All are worth a visit as nothing is more personal than opening your own private space to visitors. 
More exposing and revealing than allowing folk to look around your house is a prowl around your herbaceous borders! 
One is constantly inviting criticism, as well as accolades, but the driving force is always the love of plants and gardening. How brave!
But more importantly being willing and generous enough to share that love and your own garden with other garden nerds.
I always seem to lock into the ambience and atmosphere individual gardens generate and for me this is the overwhelming impression. 
I don't care about the odd weed; it's all about the feel and the spatial impression, personal interpretation and use of the plot. And the evident love of the site.
To this end I will review a few gardens which struck a particular chord for me personally.
My first one is a smallish garden which I visited earlier this year and enjoyed immensely.

Relatively speaking, a small space but cleverly developed and with very personal                                                   ideas. 

Intimate spaces with abundant plantings, a cleverly executed water feature and                                  secluded seating discreetly placed. 

                  And a wonderful feeling of being totally alone and private! 

               Perfect to hide away with a cuppa and contemplate the universe. 

The odd sculpture, so often overdone, was in perfect harmony with the planting                                    and displayed a touch of whimsy.

I adored the bottom of the garden which opened out onto a newly developed                      meadow style area with old rattan relaxed! 

                                               And relaxing!

                Not in the least bit manicured but naturalistic and simply green.
                           An invite to take your shoes off and relax?

                                        Gets my vote everytime!!