Monday, 26 March 2012

Gorgeous Gardens & Buxus Balls!

Unsurprisingly, when the weather takes a turn for the better (...and Oh my - has the weather been absolutely beautiful in Norfolk this weekend!) my first waking thoughts are to my garden. I was very fortunate to inherit from the previous owners of Hill House, a structured and mature garden of just under one acre. Already impeccably hard landscaped, the gardens' shape and design is beautiful, but for me, it lacks the blowsiness, and romanticism of a wisteria clad traditional English country garden. I adore the structure & elegance of my box hedging, and I want to introduce even more round clipped buxus balls planted in fading, rustic terracotta pots and grouped in bundles around the garden.

However, to add softness to the design, an abundance of Hydranga bushes is (for me) a must, and having been inspired by a garden in Veranda magazine, I also fancy the idea of placing giant pots of hydrangeas along the drive.

Of course, no English country garden is complete without roses, and I want to introduce a multitude of soft pink and creamy white old English rose hedges, climbers & ramblers throughout. Amongst my favourite current reads (and there are many - I have an outrageous pile of gardening & interiors books and magazines causing a semi avalanche at the side of my bed!) - is the current David Austin 'Handbook of Roses'. Now I hasten to add, that I am a complete & utter 'virgin gardener', and if I had been asked 5 years ago from my postage stamp sized, London terrace garden, whether my bedtime reading would ever consist of a garden rose catalogue - I would have laughed over the top of my decaf skinny latte (now it's plain old builders tea!). However, there is something undeniably alluring about the thought of planting and nurturing one's own garden. I know that it will take time, harde graft, and probably a lot of frustrated tears (don't get me started on the ornamental potager that I'd also like to construct) but wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to look around a garden brimming with beautiful blooms with sweet names such as 'Wildeve', 'Gentle Hermione' and 'Eglantyne' and in a few years time and be able to say - " I planted that!".

Images courtesy of: 1) Stella McCartney's garden US Vogue, 2)unknown, 3)unknown, 4) Veranda, 5), 6) Debbie Treloar, 7,8 & 9) David Austin Roses


  1. I cannot even tell you how flippin' envious I am of your garden, SO MUCH SPACE!!!!!! I - and pretty much every I know - has the aforementioned postage stamp sized gardens and I dream of becoming a gardener :)

    Your plans sound really wonderful....patience is clearly a virtue in gardening!! I saw Stella M's garden recently when she did a magazine feature, wasn't it stunning!?

    Have a great week! XX

  2. Stopping by from Maureen's Daydream Living space to say hello. You are so blessed to have so much garden space. I live in a desert country so have to search for grass and things that grow. :) Have a great week. Tammy

  3. I really want to try hydrangeas in pots along the drive but need to find plastic pots that wouldn't break in our winter snows. Most of the plastic ones look cheap and I don't want cheap. These are some gorgeous images you've shown and you make me want to get outside and work.


  4. Hello Mrs Sutton:
    You are very fortunate to have acquired a garden with good structural bones since that is what holds the garden together throughout the seasons. But, we know exactly what you mean about your desire for some romantic additions. The idea of large planters with Hydrangeas is a fabulous one, as is the inclusion of Roses.In our own gardening days we never wished to be without Peonies as they add such a marvellously 'overblown' look to the borders and are so quintessentially English.

    We have discovered you quite by chance via our delightful friend Jen at Country Weekend. We have signed up as Followers in order to stay in touch.

  5. Hello sweet Paula! I am so delighted to see a post from you! The photos are beautiful and inspiring! I love to garden! I have several David Austen roses in my garden. I love them and they are very hardy. We have extremely hot and humid summers here in the south, but they do well, though I don't think the blooms are as large as they would be in your beautiful Norfolk garden! I think you will be very pleased with the David Austen roses, now the hard part, deciding which ones you will purchase! You had me tickled about never thinking your bedtime reading would consist of a garden rose catalogue! The country does give us a different perspective! :) I do hope your lovely spring weather continues and all your garden dreams come true! Before you know it you will be sharing photos of what you have planted! Much love! Paula xo

  6. Old roses they have to be my favourite and so many to choose from, you could have a beautiful garden filled with the perfume of old roses, it will look stunning, and how lucky were you to inherit such a lovely garden which will be even lovelier once you have put your touches to it.
    Enjoy this lovely weather and get planting

  7. What beautiful photos and an amazing house and garden. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. xx

  8. You already have the bones for a wonderful garden - heck, it IS wonderful, but so much more you can do to make it your own. The David Austin book is a great start. Can't wait to see what you decide to do.

  9. How lovely! A British blog ! Don t get me wrong, I follow some wonderful American interiors blogs but somehow many items just don t apply to my life. Mud rooms? Target? Craigslist? I look forward to your future posts and I m glad I caught you on your return to blogland.

  10. What stunning flowers - I wish I had them all in my garden!
    Country Style Chic

  11. I loved your comment today, I laughed out loud...what a wonderful husband you have! Even better, I get to discover you here. What a lovely blog you have..I appreciate it have a home to doubt about that!

    Very best wishes Mrs. S from your newest follower.

    Jeanne xx

  12. I just popped over to say "Thanks!" for stopping by La Lamp Shade, and I feel like I've fallen down the most gorgeous rabbit hole ever. Off to read more about your beautiful home...

  13. Hi! It's great to "meet you! :-)

    What a beautiful post! I'm so ready for spring and I'm missing seeing my garden... everything is bare right now. Let the sun shine!


    Luciane at

  14. OMG THAT STAIRCASE!!!!! Gorgeous!

  15. Such wonderful inspiration. Thanks for your visit!

  16. Dear Mrs. Sutton,
    I found your amazing blog via a comment you left at Vita Ranunkler.
    beatiful beautiful beautiful photos of your garden.
    Your older posts are so inspiring... so glad to have found you. will be back again for more.

  17. Lots of great garden inspiration there.

    Aah David Austin roses - just beautiful. Enjoy your planning, dreaming and eventual planting. You will soon be hooked!

    Have a lovely sunny week.


  18. Lovely to see the comment from you. And I agree about the wonderful weather we are having in Norfolk at the moment, another wonderful blue sky day has dawned over where I am, and over most of the country I suspect. Though it would be lovely to have some generous amounts of rain, everywhere looks so very dry.

  19. Thank you for your kind comment.
    What a beautiful home you have, what lucky children to live in such an idyllic place.
    Jude x

  20. Gosh this is a very popular garden today isn't it? I love gardening and have a cottage garden. Love that free flowing look. Planning lots of new ideas for this year too. I am your newest follower and will be back to say hello and see what you are up to:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  21. Hello stranger!!

    It's been FAR too long since you blogged. I remember coming to visit you when you first began!! I'm so glad you were okay. I was a bit worried when you went away all of a sudden.

    And, oooh, those David Austin roses look heavenly. I love them too - we have some in our back garden.

    And don't get me started on Stella's - swoon!!!

    I'm looking forward to seeing how yours comes along!!


  22. Hi Paula, Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a lovely comment - it's really appreciated! I came over to say hi and boy am I glad I did! I see we're kindred spirits! You are living in my dream house, I adore Georgian architecture! You're home and garden are both stunning! So beautiful! So funny you talking about going from skinny latte's to rose catalogues - that's me too! I'm so glad I found you - looking forward to reading the rest of your blog - and I mean that sincerely! :)


  23. I love beautiful gardens and these images are amazing. No time is more wonderful than Spring in my all of the budding trees and flowers and the anticipation of my roses...

  24. Hello Mrs Sutton,

    What a beautiful garden post!I enjoyed reading about your garden and the plans you have for it. I hope your dreams will come true :-)

    Madelief x

  25. Hi there!
    I just love love love your Blog!!
    Full of colors I love, and elegance.
    Thank you so much for sharing such pretty things!
    Happy decorating!

  26. Dear Paula,
    Have just stumbled upon your lovely blog while Googling "Ben Petreath" and "The Old Vicarage". What a wonderful find! I adore your beautiful Georgian home, and your writing is beautiful too.
    Like you, my partner and I moved to a little village in the country, however as a writer I found the isolation from the city too much, and so we've just sold. But thanks to your lovely blog, I can keep getting my 'country fix'. Do keep writing - we all love your posts. And your garden is simply sublime!
    Janelle McCulloch

  27. Gardens and interiors both take so much time and cultivation...labors of love! Spring is the time to plant those box, hydrangeas, and roses. Digging away in DC, Loi

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