A few weeks ago we trundled off to see agarden that was opening for the National Garden Scheme, which many people in Bristol had told me was a must see. Hanham Court is just outside the city, so we set off, hoping everyone was right.
|The most enormous Walnut!!|
We arrived and began to wander around the garden, which is very large, and made into very specific areas. Walking along a herbaceous border we found ourselves led into the Orchard area, where the first tree you meet is the most enormous walnut I have ever seen. Wandering through the Orchard is quite wonderful, admiring old, gnarled trees with character and a stunning under planting of meadow. The meadow continues out into the wider landscape, whilst the garden leads you to a dell, with a pool surrounded by Gunnera and a slightly tropical planting that reminded me of the Jungle at Heligan only on a far smaller scale. Leading on from this is a canal, sadly depleted in water but surrounded by flag iris with signs of water lilies although I fear for them in the hot, dry season we are having.
Now it might seem that I am rushing through but I desperately want to speak to you of the treat we found at the end of the tour. Cleverly hidden at the back of the house is an area that at first looks like extraordinary herbaceous borders but then when you look further there are paths, bordered by box hedging, that are in fact, a kind of enormous knot garden. Walking into the area there were several things that absolutely amazed me. Firstly the beds were all buzzing with bees where Nectaroscordum, roses, Paeonias, poppies, irises and more were jostling for space. The planting is, I think, exquisite. Countless varieties of Paeonias and roses fill the areas surrounded by the box and then, hidden in the centre, is a pool and seating area with planting that made us gasp at beauty of it.
|The herbaceous border at the front of the huge knot garden.|
For me the garden brought together several of my favourite things. A fabulous Orchard, meadow, great herbaceous planting and some extraordinary topiary. It reminded me of several other gardens I really admire but equally has a character specifically of its own. I can recommend it and I am very much looking forward to seeing it as it moves through the seasons.
|Topiary-might not be the in thing but I do love it when it's done well!!|
|The knot, filled with topiary as well as stunning planting and looking over the meadow and to the right, the orchard!|
|Just one of the many paeonias.|