The grand sweep of the double herbaceous borders at Arley Hall Gardens has been delighting gardeners for about two centuries: this is one of the oldest examples of its type to be seen anywhere in the world. Exuberant summer perennials fill long, parallel borders, the garden’s brick wall and formal topiary hedging providing a traditional backdrop.
The Tudor-style Tea Cottage at Arley Hall in Cheshire is a focal point leading the eye down a broad path. On either side of the path are cottage garden style flowers, such as these flailing hollyhocks, which grow alongside a collection of summer flowering shrub roses and extend the season of interest. The Tea Cottage has been superseded by The Gardener’s Kitchen, but is used for exhibitions, filming and weddings.
1 – This drift of Erythronium ‘White Beauty’ is calling out for a collective noun. An exhortation of trout lilies? (as these seem to be encouraging me to get out into the sunshine and stop writing) or perhaps we need a water connection – a splash of trout lilies? The marbled foliage is enough to send me into raptures, as some of you may remember, so you can imagine my satisfaction when they are all topped with flowers.
2 – Honesty is at its prime in my neighbourhood. It’s one of my favourite biennials, my fascination dating back to childhood when I loved to wonder over its flat, translucent seed disks. Lunaria annua var. albiflora ‘Alba Variegata’ with the white edging on its heart shaped leaves is an unusual form. Continue reading “Six on Saturday From Arley Hall Gardens”
The ornate, white, metal gazebo at Arley Hall in Cheshire stands ghostly amongst the flowers and neatly trimmed topiary in springtime. I’d describe it as a folly but it has a practical use, making a beautiful backdrop for wedding photography. The matching bench provides a great viewpoint for visitors to linger and enjoy the walled garden.
If I was using a macro lens rather than an iPhone, I’d be able to isolate the spidery flowers of cleome against a nicely diffused, neutral background. As it is, I’ve learned to appreciate the impressionistic quality the iPhone can give. It’s nice that our eyes can drift along the flower border and make out some of the annuals: pink and red cosmos and blue cornflowers (Centaura cyanus). And I’m often impressed how well the iPhone captures colours, especially the blues, which my old camera struggled with. Continue reading “Impressions: Cutting Garden At Arley Hall And Gardens”
Described by the British Cottage Garden Society as an informal, abundant, diverse planting, this well-loved gardening style is always in fashion with ’real’ gardeners. If you’d like to create a cottage garden at home, follow this recipe. Add an extra dimension by including as many highly fragrant cultivars as you can from the plant lists below. Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to have no soil visible from year three onwards. Simple!
Patch of earth (ideally cultivated and enriched for hundred years, though it’s never too late to start)
Some form of enclosure: hedge, stone walls, wooden fence