Our holiday garden.

As with Sussex Prairies, years ago,  I had read in various magazines and seen on TV,  a house and garden on the Isle of Wight which also had a cottage in the garden which you can rent and also have access to the owners garden and lake, yes lake, too big to be a pond. When we knew we were going to be over that side of the country for the wedding in London, we thought, why not combine it with a week’s break somewhere. I couldn’t remember the name of the house, but after a search on Google soon found it.  Haddon Lake House and Garden has won awards for both the house that was built jutting out over the lake and the garden, part of which is a walled garden. The cottage is in a corner of the walled garden and this was the view we had when the door was unlocked in the garden wall, I just knew we were in for a good week.

Haddon House garden

Walled Garden

I unpacked as quickly as possible, then started to explore. Whereas Sussex Prairies had been prairie planting, this was tropical with tree ferns, bananas, cannas and dahlias, with asters, penstemons, phormium and others. In this photo you are looking back to the cottage with the main house behind.

Onions drying

The walled garden isn’t just for flowers, they grow an enormous amount of fruit and veg tucked in between the flowers.

Central path to greenhouse

Looking down the central path to the huge greenhouse which was full of seedlings and cuttings ready for next year.

Japanese garden

This is the view from our sitting room into the Japanese themed courtyard belonging to the main house. Phillipa is a garden designer so it is no wonder it looks perfect in its simplicity, contrasting with the lush tropical planting behind. The undergardener has fallen for the canna with yellow striped leaves that you can see in the centre. I think this is the first time that he has said without prompting, that he likes a plant, so definitely one to buy next spring!

Japanese garden

A view from the opposite corner – a beautiful area of calm between two densely planted areas, full of colour – perfect.

Slope to woodland

From the Japanese courtyard, you are tempted up the slope that leads to the woodland which circles the lake.

Looking back from woodland

Looking back from the woodland path over towards the walled garden.

House and lake

The main house and lake from the far end. The lake is home to a moorhen family and lots of black fish.

Salvia Amistad

A similar photo, but this time we are looking at the large plant in the centre with dark blue flowers – Salvia Amistad. The day before we left, Phillipa very kindly gave me a cutting of this Salvia and also a cutting of Plectranthus Argentatus, a beautiful silver foliage plant. We couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome, there was a delicious fruit cake waiting for us when we arrived and half way through the week we were given a bowl of blueberries, the last of their crop. It was wonderful to have such a beautiful garden to wander round each morning, almost like being at home, except that the planting is very different. There was just one thing that bothered me, I wonder if you can guess what it is? We would certainly recommend staying here to any garden lover, the garden certainly lived up to expectations!

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Our holiday garden.

  1. Christina says:

    What a wonderful place to stay; I can’t think what you were bothered about unless it was what was happening in your own garden while you were away!

    • Pauline says:

      No Christina, my garden just has to get on with it. This one was so fantastic, with colour everywhere, I was wondering what there would be flowering earlier in the year, do you ever wonder that when you are garden visiting?

  2. What a fabulously dramatic garden, and I do like that courtyard, it does indeed balance it all. It really has all come along since I watched the Grand Designs programme that featured it. I have totally fallen for that salvia, positiviely drool-worthy. As for the canna, yes, clearly a must have if the undergardener liked it straight off.

    PS I too found myself wondering what there is to look at in Spring or early Summer, I always do when I see a border looking amazing at a particular time of year, because I spend so much of my time thinking about what my own garden will look like at different times of year…

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Janet, it was a dramatic garden, so different from my own, but so wonderful I thought. I’m glad that I’m not alone when I wonder what came earlier in a garden, as I know how difficult it is to have a garden firing on all cylinders all through the year. I feel that I have taken the easy option by having different areas reaching a climax at different times, but we all have our own ideas on the subject.

  3. Jayne says:

    As gardeners arent we always wondering what came before and what there is still to come? I love to revisit special gardens at various times of the garden year for just that reason – love to see how they manage through the growing season. The dahlias are quite spectacular in this garden!

    • Pauline says:

      Jayne,I did ask what they had earlier in the year, did they have spring bulbs maybe, but was told that they don’t have any bulbs and the planting we saw, all started in June. Before that they were preparing all the flowerbeds ready for the show that was to come. The colour was amazing, but I couldn’t do without all my spring flowers.

  4. Cathy says:

    My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw these pictures, Pauline – the sheer joy of opening your door or looking out of the window every day for a week and feasting your eyes on all this lot! Such delights – and you rented your cottage for THAT particular week and not earlier in the season so you can go on wondering and just enjoy your own memories!

    • Pauline says:

      It was a joy each morning Cathy, to see such a colourful display, my garden looked very dull by comparison when we got home. Just as with Sussex Prairies, there are ideas that I can incorporate into the border by the field to give us more late season colour. I did ask about earlier colour and it seems that these plants provide it all from about June onwards, they are very busy before that getting everything ready for the summer.

  5. rusty duck says:

    Wow. You can’t deny that the garden has colour! The patio outside the sitting room is so tranquil though, and the lake is lovely. What a great place to stay.

    • Pauline says:

      The garden is wonderfully colourful Jessica, we were there at its peak I think. I loved the courtyard with its simplicity, that was what we saw when we drew the curtains back in the morning.

  6. Cathy says:

    The milder climate on the island must make it a joy to garden there… I spotted a Ricinus among all that lush growth. And those dahlias are lovely too. If gardening holidays were offered I’d be in those borders weeding and deadheading and loving every minute of it! LOL!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Cathy, we were told that it had a climate similar to Tresco in the Scillies , they hardly ever have any frost. Being so close to the sea as they were and sheltered by all the woods around them, they have a special micro climate all to themselves. To be honest, i could hardly see any weeds, Phillipa is busy gardening all day!

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Glad you had a chance to explore and enjoy this garden. It must have been fun to be there and experience it over the course of a few days and different hours of the day. I love the lush plantings and I am smitten with the Japanese garden. Susie

    • Pauline says:

      Susie, it was lovely to be able to wander at will each day in a beautiful garden. The Japanese garden was perfect in its simplicity and proves the phrase that “less is more”.

  8. debsgarden says:

    Oh, my, your photos took my breath away! What a fabulous place to stay! There are two thing that would bother me: I would wish I could duplicate this in my own garden but know there would be no way to do so. The other thing that would bother me would be having to leave; I would want to see this place in all seasons!

    • Pauline says:

      Deb, you’ve hit the nail on the head with your last comment, I was wondering what would be there in other seasons, I couldn’t see evidence of other plants that had flowered earlier and when I asked if she had lots of spring bulbs, was told that she didn’t do bulbs, this was it. They spend the spring getting everything ready, clearing the beds, fertilising them and planting them up again. It apparently starts flowering again by June. I would certainly miss my snowdrops, spring flowers and early summer flowers. I think I can replicate bits of it in my border by the field which hopefully will be my late summer border.

  9. wellywoman says:

    What a lovely place to stay. I’ll have to make a note of it for future holiday possibilities. I often wonder when I see such a dramatic display at a particular time of year what it looks like at other times. With large gardens I don’t think it matters so much if sections are devoted to particular seasons. The real challenge is with much smaller spaces and trying to get interest throughout the year. Often garden designers go for the ‘green’ option and a limited planting palette. This just makes my heart sink.

    I completely agree that a garden without bulbs to raise the spirits in spring would be very odd.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m lucky WW, I have different areas coming to a peak at different times of year, I would hate to be without all my early flowers in the woodland, just think, my first snowdrops should be flowering by Christmas, 8 weeks time! I have gone for the option of different areas peaking at different times, but nowhere has nothing in it for the rest of the year.
      It was a super garden to stay in, it must look really good from July onwards, Phillipa says to book direct, don’t go through an agency as that is more expensive.

  10. Wendy says:

    The borders are stunning with some beautiful colours. The house is in a lovely spot, overlooking that lake, too. But I agree with your comments above, it does seem very unusual to have a garden that peaks at this time of year. My garden has to have spring bulbs as well. I can’t imagine not having them.

    • Pauline says:

      I think I’ll be happy Wendy, if I can get my border by the field to be as good as this garden was. The garden here has parts that peak at different times, I wouldn’t want to be without my spring flowers either.

  11. Annie_H says:

    Wow what a view when you first got there. You’ll have to go and stay at another time of year then to see what it is like, but no bulbs that is a shocker.

    • Pauline says:

      Wow, was my reaction too Annie, I couldn’t believe all the colour that there was inside the walled garden. I would miss my bulbs and other perennials too much to put all my effort into one season.

  12. Anna says:

    Talk about a busman’s holiday Pauline – I would imagine that location would suit a lot of us down to the ground 🙂 Did you just look or were you tempted to do any watering or deadheading whilst you were there?

    • Pauline says:

      It was a perfect holiday destination Anna, with super flowers to see everyday. I don’t think I would have been allowed to do any deadheading and the watering is on an automatic system, so I spent my time just looking and making notes of what I should plant here!

  13. Caro says:

    I had to look up where this place is as I love the Isle of Wight and have visited many times. Lovely to see this garden in full bloom at this time of year, especially if the owners concentrate on building it up again in the winter. I suppose this is a very practical thing to do if there are less visitors in the winter – but I would have thought some winter interest, such as seed heads and evergreens, would have been simple enough to accommodate!

    • Pauline says:

      It was a lovely garden Caro, I think we went at the right time, although it would have been flowering away for a few months previously. They hardly ever have a frost, so I’m not sure if they leave their dahlias and cannas in over winter or not. It seemed a shame to miss out on all the lovely spring flowers and bulbs, I would have to have some snowdrops and hellebores!

  14. Wow! What an amazing garden! How luck to be able to stay there and truly enjoy it.

    • Pauline says:

      It was wow Jennifer, such a pretty colourful garden. It was wonderful seeing it each day when I drew the curtains back and being able to wander around at will. I have come home with ideas buzzing round in my head!

Comments are closed.