It was one of those serendipitous moments….. We’d booked a holiday in ‘Little Switzerland’ as the Malvern Hills are called, in Garden Cottage , belonging to the Voysey designed main house Perrycroft:
The interiors were really lovely, with some of the furnishings from Tinsmiths in Ledbury
But the most wonderful thing was the discovery of a perfect gem of a garden. Normally only open for the National Gardens Scheme, as we had hired Garden Cottage, we were able to roam about amidst all its loveliness whenever we liked. Now many of you already know that I really rate Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire as among my favourite gardens, but I think this garden is almost as good. High praise indeed! And it’s private.
But I can take you on a little garden tour in case you don’t get to stay here yourselves.It’s really magical!
Mown paths lead through wildflower meadows- this is the orchard, with pretty beehives to pollinate the fruit.
Paths lead through ox-eye daisies and mallow towards the main house, Perrycroft:
Through clipped sentinel yews you enter the garden proper. This is a garden based on the tried and tested formula of a formal structure of low and high hedges in box and yew forming compartments, within which loose exuberant perennial planting softens and romanticises:
The Voysey house has beautiful green painted windows- an idea that i’m going to copy :
Gravel paths lead from one compartment full of lush perennials to another…
and everywhere there are straight line vistas ending in perfectly designed structures to draw you on….
Stone steps are softened with creeping alpines.
Up near the main house I particularly like the juxtaposition of the formality of huge clipped box balls with the wildflower meadow. In fact, that’s a key signature of this garden – hard and soft side by side, contrast being all.
In the same vein of contrasts, soft fluffy skirts of sedums skirt a formal box pyramid. This is a garden one can learn lessons from.
Good perennial planting fills the borders – here is Phlomis russeliana
In this mild south facing garden, the tall spires of Echiums thrive ( I have to keep mine indoors overwinter in frosty Manchester).
This is a stunning garden, nestled in the foothills of the Malvern Hills with views over two counties.
Magical ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Ace of Spades topiaries lead to yet more delights:
One important detail to note is that there are beautiful green oak benches everywhere. They provide a sense of unity throughout the garden, as well as being great focal points. This is a garden for sitting in and soaking up those views out towards Wales in the distance.
Those clipped box hedges contain the colour popping, long flowering Geranium Ann Folkard:
Here’s yet another of those wonderful oak benches, silvering with age( a bit like me)….
And that planting. It’s perfect English Country Garden in a magical setting, made all the more perfect in that it’s private and secluded :
And the scent of roses follows you as you drift through the borders….
In a garden of contrasts, Yellow Kniphofias and blue campanulas are another sharp contrast that works- both in colour and shape:
Roses are everwhere adding scent to the air- this is Alan Titchmarsh’s favourite(!)- Tuscany Superb
Moving along paths, one comes across a little courtyard with a water feature in stone:
And another beautiful shelter glimpsed over the roses:
This compartment is a white garden with a strong sculpted box cube bringing structure to the area. Notice the oak bench again bringing unity to the area, tying it in to the rest of the garden.
Astrantias thrive in semi-shade here.
We now exit the formal garden through this enticing gate, towards the meadows, ponds and woodland:
This garden clearly follows the Arts & Crafts maxim of William Morris: ” ‘Have nothing in your house ( or Garden ?) that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”.Even the log store is decorative.
That bench again…..
And a swing that reaches the sky…..
Well, I couldn’t resist!
Until finally the woodland reaches the edge of a meadow- utter bliss….
If you’d like to find out about renting this cottage or seeing this garden just look at http://perrycroft.co.uk/ We’ve had a lovely time here, including Ted!
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