Not 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)
In 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.