The garden surrounding this Georgian country house provides the perfect setting for the elegant architecture, exquisite symmetry and classic features of the property.
For a quarter of a century the garden has been in the care of its owners, Faith and Anthony Hallett, who have sensitively left their mark on this peaceful setting.
Offering many traditional English garden ideas, the mile-wide plot is filled with delights, from the babbling brook that flows its length, the shade cast by the majestic weeping beech, the sun-drenched stone patio or the long borders and overflowing flower-filled island beds.
While there is much to add strong structure to this beautiful garden, it is the use of plants that really catches the eye in early summer, particularly the large collection of roses in the many rose garden ideas
Always colorful and most often fragrant roses prevail, filling borders and climbing over arches and arbors.
Anthony has selected several of the modern, more disease resistant rose varieties over the years including Charlotte, Graham Thomas, Buff Beauty, The Pilgrim and Molineaux.
“We have tons of roses; I have a little fetish for her,” he jokes. “It’s wonderful to be with them in the summer when the air is filled with their scent.”
The garden has a certain level of formality as befits the character of the house it surrounds, albeit with a light, almost relaxed touch.
This is particularly noticeable in the planting and flower bed ideas on either side of the long, straight gravel garden path leading to the former main entrance. Pairs of maples and clipped yew trees flanking an ornate metal gate provide a strong anchor for parallel beds of shrubs, roses and perennials that flow into the walkway.
The strong lines of the house itself are softened somewhat by several flowering vines including wisteria and more roses including the pink flowering ‘Penny Lane’ by the front door. The white lace flowers of Hydrangea Anomala subsp. petioles caress a north face.
Many of the borders have relaxed cottage garden plantings with perennials such as Nepeta and Monkshood backing roses.
Many of the flowers are planted to ensure there are many seasons to look forward to, such as the fire colored ones Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ which later in summer combines with the red leaves of the hypocrites to form a hot border.
Garden maintenance is a year-round task, especially in early summer when roses need to be topped to ensure a long blooming season.
The Halletts are also aware of the need to keep an eye on productive self-seeding plants such as the giant cowslip, which is capable of colonizing large areas if left to its own devices.
The 100-foot-long stream that once powered flour, paper, and silk mills is now softened by plants that prefer wet conditions. These include hosta, cowslip Primrose florindaeumbrella plant Darmera peltataand arum lily Zantedeschia aethiopica, that work well as border plants around many water features.
Water features were an important element of Georgian garden design so this fits in with the heritage of the home.
“The stream is absolutely magical,” says Faith. “It runs the length of the garden and the border plants by the water come out every year and give us a wonderful display in the summer.”
More recent additions to the garden have been chosen with a wink to quality and durability. This includes the rectangular vegetable beds with box edges behind the house – a vegetable garden idea that combines functionality with good looks.
“We have planted many trees over the years including several Italian cypresses and maples to add to those already in place. This year we’ve added nine more fruit trees and two Siberian Prunus with peeling bark. They say gardens are always evolving, and that’s certainly the case here,” says Anthony
the Italian cypresses, Cupressus sempervirenswere grown from cuttings by Anthony 20 years ago and they also added a sparkling flamingo willow, Salix integrated ‘Hakuro-nishiki’, with its pretty pink, off-white and off-white leaves.
Faith and Anthony enjoy taking care of the garden and making sure it is kept in good condition.
“It’s almost like we have it in trust for the next people,” Faith explains. “We maintain and develop what is already there so that one day we can pass it on.”