Serendipity in the Malverns

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:DSCN1361[1]

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.DSCN1465[2].JPG

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.DSCN1363[1].JPG

Paths lead through ox-eye daisies and mallow towards the main house, Perrycroft:DSCN1376[1].JPGDSCN1377[1].JPGDSCN1378[1].JPG

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:DSCN1384[1].JPG

The Voysey house has beautiful green painted windows- an idea that i’m going to copy :DSCN1385[1].JPGDSCN1395[1].JPG

Gravel paths lead from one compartment full of lush perennials to another…DSCN1386.JPG

and everywhere there are straight line vistas ending in perfectly designed structures to draw you on….DSCN1390.JPG

Stone steps are softened with creeping alpines. DSCN1388.JPG

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.DSCN1392.JPG

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.DSCN1397.JPG

Good perennial planting fills the borders – here is Phlomis russelianaDSCN1394.JPG

In this mild south facing garden, the tall spires of Echiums thrive ( I have to keep mine indoors overwinter in frosty Manchester).DSCN1399.JPG

This is a stunning garden, nestled in the foothills of the Malvern Hills  with views over two counties.DSCN1409.JPG

Magical ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Ace of Spades topiaries lead to yet more delights:DSCN1410.JPG

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.DSCN1417.JPG

Those clipped box hedges contain the colour popping, long flowering Geranium Ann Folkard:DSCN1415.JPG

Here’s yet another of those wonderful oak benches, silvering with age( a bit like me)….DSCN1428.JPGDSCN1444.JPGDSCN1419.JPG

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 :DSCN1423.JPGDSCN1435.JPGDSCN1426.JPG

And the scent of roses follows you as you drift through the borders….DSCN1430.JPG

In a garden of contrasts, Yellow Kniphofias and blue campanulas are another sharp contrast that works- both in colour and shape:DSCN1438.JPGDSCN1437.JPG


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:DSCN1445.JPGDSCN1450.JPGDSCN1447.JPG

And another beautiful shelter glimpsed over the roses:DSCN1443.JPG

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. DSCN1455.JPG

Astrantias thrive in semi-shade here.DSCN1458.JPG

We now exit the formal garden through this enticing gate, towards the meadows, ponds and woodland:DSCN1465.JPG

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. DSCN1463.JPGDSCN1479.JPG

That bench again…..DSCN1480.JPGDSCN1484.JPGDSCN1492.JPG

And a swing that reaches the sky…..DSCN1499.JPG

Well, I couldn’t resist!DSCN1497.JPG

Until finally the woodland reaches the edge of a meadow- utter bliss….DSCN1500.JPG

If you’d like to find out about renting this cottage or seeing this garden just look at We’ve had a lovely time here, including Ted! DSCN1512.JPG

And don’t forget that if you want to receive my blog straight to your email inbox every Friday, all you have to do is scroll down and click Follow Me. Enter your email address and you’ll get a new posting every Friday. Happy Gardening!


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