Back to Oxfordshire and this time we shall share a wander around a most wonderful and varied garden which we were privileged to visit recently. The gardens at Broughton Grange are only open a few days a year in support of charities and we visited on a weekend when it was open under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme, The Yellow Book.
We arrived not long after it opened and approached across a traditional wild flower meadow through which was cut a vehicle width track. Without thinking we drove slowly across the grass, the fact that we were taking a mechanical monster over something so delicate and special made us move as gently as possible.
Although there is plenty to see here we had to immediately make for the walled garden which had been designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. I was so keen to explore this garden that I even did without my pre-explore coffee! I was glad I did!
The design had a strong structure beneath it, both of hard landscaping and natural frameworks, which provided a network into which the plants could grow, softening the hard surfaces as they did so.
The planting scheme here had a wonderful coherence which allowed your eye to move slowly across a delicate colour palette but sometimes individual plants stood out from the crowd and demanded a closer second look. Luckily for us there were lots of access pathways so we could delve into the borders to enjoy a close look at specials that caught our eyes.
First a few shots of borders………….
………… and now for some of the glittering stars!
Foliage played an important role here too, with leaf texture, shape and colour adding further interest to the plantings.
We spotted this little cameo as we were leaving the walled garden to explore the outer grounds. A piece of accidental garden sculpture?
Outside the walled garden many acres awaited discovery by Mr and Mrs Greenbench. Woodland, a new arboretum, meadows and features such as this Laburnum arch – sunglasses were essential if you wished to pass through it!
Nearby a new patch of woodland featured many native trees plus a select few non-natives, such as lilacs with rich fruity scent that filled the air all through the neighbouring trees.
We wandered through an interesting garden in front of the house itself on our way to the arboretum. Here little meadows full of airy wild flowers and native grasses moving gently in the summer breeze bordered a parterre with bright blue obelisks as highlights.
As we left the old woodland to enter the newly planted arboretum we discovered a stumpery. We have a soft spot for stumperies and this was an interesting one as it was designed and laid out to form a welcoming funnel between the two sections of garden. From the woodland side the stumps build up to form a gateway.
So in my follow-up post about this wonderful garden I shall begin with the stumpery.