An Artist’s Back Garden

I often write and share my photos of gardens open to the public, often large and under the auspices of the National Trust or affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society or smaller and open under the Yellow Book (NGS) scheme. Recently I wrote about a small garden owned by our friend and fellow Hardy Plant Society member Anne, in a post simply called “Anne’s Garden”. I shall be writing more about such gardens in this occasional series of posts of which this is the second.

We spent a few days down in Surrey in April staying in the lovely town of Farnham where my brother, Graham and his wife Vicky live. We re-visited that great garden, Nymans and it was good to see it at a different at a different time of year. We enjoyed a walk on “The Downs” for the first time ever and a walk around the old town of Farnham for the first time in decades.

But breakfast outside on an unusually warm spring morning in Graham and Vicky’s garden made me collect my camera as the light was so good. The sun was low in the sky so lit up the tiniest detail and the gentlest textures. Come with me and look through the lens of my trusty Nikon as we look around this artist’s garden.

One step out of the side door and immediately we have a clue as to what to expect.

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The first view of the back garden shows how long and thin it is and how beautifully planted, and a look down the garden also finds Jude the Undergardener and my brother Graham enjoying breakfast in the sun.

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Sculptural pieces are found within the borders and look natural alongside the plants snuggling up to them.

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Effective plant combinations are a strength of this garden, where foliage plays a key role.

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But specimen plants stand out and make you stop for a second closer look.

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Containers of all shapes and sizes and made from all sorts of materials add more interest.

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Early morning is definitely the time for shadows.

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Close to the house the shady border is full of promise with new growth breaking through the soil with the ferns looking particularly dramatic.

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An artist’s garden has to be full of interesting objects and happenings.

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An artist must have a studio and what better place for it but at the bottom of the garden! Close by is a closely planted group of Mountain Ash, sown by birds – a great feature which I have never seen before. Well done the birds!

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But one thing that no gardener wants in the garden is snails and this garden is full of them! On the plants, climbing the fences, the house walls and even climbing up the window panes. They are everywhere!

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So we shall finish off this look at Graham and Vicky’s garden with a few shots of the front garden, the last shot showing Graham kindly digging up a plant for us to take home for our own garden.

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The next post in this occasional series about our friends’ gardens will feature a woodland garden of friends Pauline and Derek.

Published by greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

2 replies on “An Artist’s Back Garden”

  1. Thank you Malcolm. It is so good to see our patch through fresh eyes. Facing north east we get a lot of cold winter shade but this beautiful morning light highlighting the colour of leaves and petals as the sun shines through them for much of the year. Thanks again, Graham and Vicky.

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