I found this unpublished post originally written back in mid-February of 2018. I hope you enjoy it!
Back at John’s Garden for our February visit in the cold we can carry on with our exploration as we wander further along the canal-side borders to the canal bridge. In part two we will move along the canal borders before returning along the opposite side of the patch, while along the way discovering a pool, sculpture and a terrace and lots more exciting plants and plant pairings.
Conifers, grasses and trees and shrubs with coloured stems and bark give a common theme throughout. The first two photos below show the matching gold coloured foliage of a group of conifers and a swathe of grasses.
The Rhodendron above has a surprise for you if you turn over its leaves! Who would expect orange on the reverse side of a touch dark green leaf? And it feels like the softest felt.
Skimmia “Kew Green” has unusual green flowers instead of the usual reddish shades, while the Witch Hazels sport many shades of yellow.
Snowdrops in drifts light up the ground beneath the tree. Ilex “Ferox” sparkles with variegated leaves curled and heavily spined, probably one of the best hollies available for the small garden.
Metal panels with cut-out shapes of fern leaves reflect the planting beneath them in the border. John features many different versions of the low growing evergreen shrub, Leucothe. This one was a real beauty!
White can be a powerful colour when the winter sun catches it, as in the bleached stems of Teasels, the trunks of white-bark Birch and the ground covering Carex.
Along the way a beautiful pool gave a space to slow down and take a deep breath to take in all we had so far seen.
Every garden however small needs seats and they must be chosen to fit the design and atmosphere.
Sculpture is scattered around the garden providing us with pleasant surprises among our delight at its plants.
Turning at the far end of the garden we had a quick look at the new garden which has just begun being created, Adam’s Garden, designed in memory of John’s gardener who died very young late last year. This will be a great addition to the garden and we look forward to seeing it develop. We then returned on the opposite side of the long garden making interesting discoveries all the way.
The terrace is a place where you need to stop and study the small details, the pots full of original planting ideas, trimmed shrubs, interesting foliage and some floating blossoms.
Exploring an interesting little terrace garden finished our visit and we returned to the cafe via John’s lawned area with Betula, Snowdrops, Crocus and sheep.
We have a list of the other few open days the rest of the year so aim to return. All of John’s open days are to raise money for charity including some for the National Garden Scheme, the NGS. We will be back!