Thursday, October 10, 2013

Great Gardens of England

Joy Cullen, Nothumberland

White Garden, Syssinghurst

In July 2013, two Northumberland Master Gardeners and two friends embarked on our first Road Scholar trip “Great Gardens of England and Hampton Court Flower Show”.  This was a well-organized excursion with a small group of compatible travellers which included all meals, entry fees and had an education component.  A retired professor of horticulture and garden history provided five lectures.  Gardens visited included:  Great Dixter, Goodnestone Park Garden, Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, RHS Wisely, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Painswick Rococo Garden, Stourhead, Blenheim Palace and Hamptom Court Flower Show.

I am generally not a fan of roses but would be if I could grow roses like I saw in England, shrubs, climbers, teas.

Haha Used to Control Livestock

Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter loved to experiment – I found the very formal topiary under-planted with a wild flower meadow. Had never seen a haha before – much nicer than a fence.

We enjoyed the golden arboretum at Goodnestone Park, planted to celebrate a 50th anniversary. The White Garden and the Rose Garden at Sissinghurst were spectacular. The panoramic view from Hidcote in the Cotswolds was stunning.

Painswick Rococo garden is the only complete survivor of an 18th century pleasure garden. It is a very theatrical garden style – a place for the squire to have fun.

Stourhead had the most amazing collection of trees.

Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill has a Capability  Brown Landscape Garden.
Hampton Court defies description.  It was huge and crowded. The grower’s demonstration gardens showcased large numbers of just about every flowering plant you could imagine.

To sum up, for me English gardens are large old trees, amazing roses and interesting hedges.

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