This is a peaceful village garden where the plants grow freely, intertwine with romantic abandon and spread in drifts to complement the countryside around them. This natural garden is composed of colour, shape & texture of leaves for twelve months of the year on top of which flowers from all 4 seasons weave their own special magic. We share the garden with all the local wildlife – animals, birds & insects – sometimes we feel we are the intruders.
In area the garden measures approx 1/2 an acre and is on a north facing slope of heavy clay which we have improved with the addition of compost, leaf mould, grit, soot & ash.
We moved to Devon in 1990 and for the next 13 years we tackled a different part of the garden each year as originally it was just wall to wall grass. It now comprises a small woodland, natural bog with pond, various gravel areas, a bee & butterfly border, a wild-flower bank as well as shady & sunny borders which contain plenty of unusual perennials, grasses, billowing roses, clematis, bulbs and fruit & veg. I am told it has been imaginatively designed with surprises round every corner – the surprises being woodcarvings which I do in my spare time.
In 2006 we took part in the BBC2 programme “Open Gardens” and in 2007 we opened the garden for the first time for the National Garden Scheme (Yellow Book) to raise money for their Cancer Charities. We have also opened in February holding a Snowdrop Day to raise funds for a mission in Sierra Leone. Opening the garden is a lot of hard work and we are usually exhausted at the end but it is wonderful being able to share the garden with like minded people. It is always well worth it when we see how much pleasure people get from it and at the same time raise so much money for such worthy causes.
We are retired now and well over 3 score years and 10! When we have been planting the garden we have always had the wildlife in mind as well as trying to make the garden look as attractive as possible to us humans. We feel the seal of approval was given when we found that dormice had set up home in the borders – we must be doing something right!
I’ve had some gardens make the home and garden tour that the Macon Georgia Hay House organizes in the Spring.
It’s fun, people enjoy all the purdy flowers, but the home owners get so stressed preparing for it that they aren’t able to relax and enjoy the fact that all these people rave about the garden.
Congrats on being able to let go of the obsession of a weed out of place, or a dropped twig…
Do you employ a part time gardener to help maintain the place?
As I’m getting older Stone, I am getting far more relaxed about the garden. Opening the garden has been a lot of hard work, but people say such lovely things about it, that it is worth while. These days, as long as the garden is full of birds, bees, butterflies and I find evidence that we still have our dormice, then I am happy. I have had help in the garden lately as I have been rather ill, but hopefully I will soon be back to enjoying working in the garden properly once more, with just a bit of help when we decide to open. Thanks for getting back to me!