Gardens: Tracing garden’s evolution

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When we first saw the garden 26 years ago, we knew immediately that it had great potential to be a lovely space in which our family could play, relax and just enjoy.

At the time there were very few plants in the garden, and large areas were completely wild. It quickly became a home for our ever-increasing collection of plants.

We never considered that we would be asked to open our garden for the National Gardens Scheme in 2016 but felt very honoured to do so.

Having had about 250 visitors in the one afternoon, we have been encouraged to open the garden again this year.

The garden is about a third of an acre, south-facing and level with predominantly clay soil which has been improved over the years with the addition of several tons of grit, and very large amounts of compost.

Our garden is planted to the brim in the ‘cottage garden’ style.

My husband’s original interest in the garden was cutting the lawn

There have been several changes over the years as the garden has evolved to suit family needs.

In addition to the greenhouse, a polytunnel was installed last year to house tender plants over the winter.

My husband’s original interest in the garden was cutting the lawn and hedges and general maintenance.

However, he now shares my love of gardening and in addition to working with me in the garden, he has amassed a significant and varied collection of hostas.

We also have a large collection of tender aeoniums and several banana plants (two of which have spent the winter in our kitchen).

The garden is planted to ensure year round interest and colour and includes a large collection of bulbs, clematis, roses, peonies, geranium and many other unusual perennials, selected for maximum impact.

Many of these plants have been collected on our annual ‘plant hunting’ trips to among other places Cornwall. Our garden and its plants continually evolve and there is always something new we can learn. Our opening this year is on the weekend the NGS celebrates its 90th anniversary of opening gardens for charity.

We are also participating in the Hardy Plant Society Members Open Gardens scheme; a new initiative this year, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the society, again raising funds for charity.

My garden at 115 Millhouses Lane is open on Sunday, May 28 from 12.30pm to 5.00pm for the NGS, and on Sunday, August 20, from 11am to 5pm for the HPS.