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) Marthastewart.com, 6) Debbie Treloar, 7,8 & 9) David Austin Roses