Secret Gardens of the National Trust by Claire Masset

By Claire Masset

Collected listed here are gorgeous photos of the nationwide Trust’s idiosyncratic gardens, followed through a mild textual content meditating at the magic of the key backyard, and bringing in attention-grabbing historic and botanical information. This e-book contains mystery mazes, hidden corners, walled gardens, misplaced gardens, gardens which are in simple terms open sooner or later a 12 months, follies, orchards, dens, memorials, unusual statues, stumperies, huts, ice homes, wendy homes, fairy gates, and pixie homes. The gardens featured comprise the palm-filled Overbeck’s in Devon; Peckover condo in Cambridgeshire, which bursts with unique specimens discovered on Victorian plant-hunting expeditions; and Monk’s condo in East Sussex, the place the backyard proved a safe haven for Virginia Woolf.

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In Rock Dell, the old quarry showing the original rock face, it’s all about leaves: spear-shaped in the case of the phormiums, yuccas, astelias and cordylines, massive and deeply cut in the case of Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’. Dark tones are introduced with the purple, near-black foliage of Aeonium arboreum ‘Schwarzkopf’ and Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’. From here, steps take you to the topmost part of the garden, where an olive grove comes into sight; on a sunny day, with the azure sea before you, you could easily be in Sicily.

Elsewhere, eucryphias provide a show of white from summer through to autumn, while a fine collection of scented plants including viburnums, daphnes and jasmines add an extra dimension to the experience. Some of these, such as Oemleria cerasiformis with fragrant greenish-white blooms, flower during the late winter months, when the first snowdrops are just appearing. In keeping with the sisters’ love of nature, the garden is managed organically and is now, as it was in their day, both beautiful and productive.

Before the 1880s, the garden focused predominantly on the production of fruit and vegetables for the house, but Lady Mostyn changed all that. In 1884, she turned the large orchard into a formal rose garden as a wedding gift for her son. The orchard, meanwhile, was replanted at Galchog, the head gardener’s home a quarter of a mile away. On one of the top terraces – the site of a large cold frame – she created a rectangular lily pond, a typical Arts and Crafts feature. Perhaps her most striking achievement was to reinstate an ancient, possibly Jacobean, herb-filled parterre, inspired by an earlier design, the source of which remains a mystery.

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