Over the Garden Fence

CIMG1965Not ours, but one of two ‘yellow book’ gardens which were unexpectedly but serendipitiously open for the NGS  last Wednesday when we went over to the previously repossessed house that a friend had been hoping to buy. It was five months ago that we visited it with her and became aware of the strong connection she felt; fortunately, after a few fraught weeks her final offer was accepted, the house became hers and the Golfer was recruited to carry out some of the necessary work on it. I came along for the preliminary discussions but then quickly made myself scarce having spotted the distinctive yellow signs in the village.

The two gardens were quite different, one a little showy with shrubs and statement features and the other more soft and intimate with an emphasis on roses and clematis. The first one not only had cows for neighbours, but two or three elevated seating areas which are a great idea if you have rural surroundings to look out over, and being above head height the structures lent themselves to various climbers too. Planting wise, some beds showed how well grasses can be utilised to blend more disparate parts together and add extra height (left); a mass of nasturtiums were planted to great effect in front of the intriguingly restrained buddlejas (centre), and herbaceous clematis romped happily through other plants, providing a splash of extra colour (right)

SecretGardenIn the second garden, a plant lover’s cottage garden, although the old roses were mostly over there were still dozens of clematis of every size and colour, climbing or sprawling or just generally showing off along with many interesting herbaceous perennials and some brilliant displays of hosta. This garden is only 6 years old and was clearly planned from the outset, photographs showing the original work done to create it. Although it was densely planted it was more intimate than the garden we visited a few weeks ago that appeared to be mainly for show and for a few weeks only – this is a garden that will be loved and appreciated and nurtured by its owner who in turn will feel loved and appreciated and nurtured by the garden.


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13 Responses to Over the Garden Fence

  1. Anna says:

    Glad to read that your friend’s dream came true and oh what a perfect timing for you to make a return visit Cathy. Waved in your general direction today as I came through on a train 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, making offers on a repossessed house seems to involve counter bid upon counter bid, but came out right for our friend (but a shame for the under bidder). Assuming your train came through T******* on the London line (and maybe stopped) just a minute or two out of the town you pass some lakes. Our village is on the hill to the left at around this point, but if the train didn’t stop you wouldn’t have noticed anything! Nice to know you were thinking of me!

  2. Pauline says:

    You’ve made me realise that I haven’t had my monthly fix of garden visiting! It’s super when you find a garden that speaks to you. I like the sound of both gardens, the first one with its elevated seating area, I would love to have something like that half way up our dead oak! I liked the way you described the second one, that is how I feel about the garden here.

    • Cathy says:

      The visits were all the more enjoyable for being unplanned! Our garden is landlocked so elevated seating would not really be appropriate – but I did make a miniature tree house as kind of ‘folly’ because there wasn’t anywhere appropriate for a full size one! So if your garden was mine I would certainly have planned something for your dead oak – do you think you will take advantage of the opportunity? Yes, it’s nice to be reminded that the nurturing is a two way process, isn’t it?

  3. I do love a country garden that is densely packed…good fortune on the house. The photos are really wonderful.

  4. Annette says:

    I wonder about the elevated seating, how was it done? Any pics? I know I’m cheeky 😉

    • Cathy says:

      There were too many people about for decent photos, unfortunately. One (octagonal?) can just be seen in the background of the top centre picture, behind the buddleja and was approached by wooden steps, another was up a plain open arbour at the end of a simple rising pathway and looking out over the cows. I will email you a picture of the third.

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  6. Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?

    Thank you so much!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – if you find a blog you like you could just click on the sites of people who comment on it, many of whom have garden blogs themselves, and I am sure you could search WordPress (and othe blog hosts) for garden blogs. I know when I first categorised mine I began getting more people coming to look at it.

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