If you don’t like rules, then the Arts and Crafts style of garden is for you and Cloudehill Gardens is a perfect example of this. With its multiple garden ‘rooms’, it shows you how you can create a place of peace, joy and beauty and how to incorporate old-fashioned plants with modern specimens.
Owner Jeremy Francis has been working on the two-hectares of rooms since 1992 and each is a reference to famous English Arts and Crafts gardens. While their scale is too big for your backyard, the basic concepts apply and can be adapted. Defy definition. Just think of gay abandon and romance. That’s the best way to break the rules!
A windbreak of tall trees can create a microclimate where sensitive plants can thrive. It allows you to create standouts in your perennial border. And don’t forget, Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) hides a multitude of brickie’s sins and makes a lovely mantle.
Note the path with ordinary stepping stones replaced with diamonds of cobblestones of graduating sizes. So clever!
The garden path takes you through a ‘cool’ border where you can see the effect creamy-white seed heads of ornamental grasses – Pennisetum villosum and in the middle the exciting new Pennisetum ‘Tall Tails’ – can have on your garden.
Creating levels makes a small garden appear larger and makes room for more plants. In an elevated corner, this urn is lifted even further to show off its contents – various heucheras (the ‘in’ plant right now!), a dwarf honey bush (Melianthus sp), the velvety, dangly daisy Helichrysum petiolare, and the dainty globe daisy (Globularia sp) that looks like alyssum but produces a far more stunning cascade. The boulders add a new texture.
An aerial view of the garden gives you an idea of the diversity of plants at Cloudehill Gardens.
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