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.
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.
The walled garden isn’t just for flowers, they grow an enormous amount of fruit and veg tucked in between the flowers.
Looking down the central path to the huge greenhouse which was full of seedlings and cuttings ready for next year.
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!
A view from the opposite corner – a beautiful area of calm between two densely planted areas, full of colour – perfect.
From the Japanese courtyard, you are tempted up the slope that leads to the woodland which circles the lake.
Looking back from the woodland path over towards the walled garden.
The main house and lake from the far end. The lake is home to a moorhen family and lots of black fish.
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!