Categories
colours flowering bulbs garden design garden designers garden photography gardening gardens half-hardy perennials hardy perennials meadows National Garden Scheme NGS Yorkshire

The Sheffield Gardens – Part 2 – James Hitchmough’s patch

So during our weekend up in Sheffield after visiting the garden of Nigel Dunnett, we moved on to explore the garden of his colleague, Professor James Hitchmough. This garden was half way up a steep narrow road near the city centre with terraced houses on both sides.

An NGS sign pointed us through a gateway, where a path took us through the side garden where a wooden gate opened up to reveal the back garden, where glimpses of yellow, orange and red invited us to explore further.

These colourful glimpses hinted at the array of South African bulbs such as watsonias and gladioli, which formed part of a garden that was one low growing meadow below a few gnarled old apple trees. This was no surprise as James Hitchmough is the pioneer of seed sown meadows mixed with such bulbs, but his public gardens such as the one at Wisley tend to be so much larger than his own little patch.

It is a gentle garden with foliage playing an important role and many blues, pinks and whites adding some subtlety.

This was a small but so interesting and atmospheric too.

 

Categories
garden design garden photography gardening gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials meadows ornamental grasses photography RHS

Wisley Part 4 – the Steppe-Prairie Meadows

Alongside the Centenary Glasshouse at RHS’s Wisley is an area of meadow planting that has to be one of the best in England. We walked around it in the rain and our enthusiasm was not dampened one iota. The design and plant choice is the creation of Professor James Hitchmough, best known as the right hand man of Nigel Dunnet from Sheffield University.

DSC_0154 DSC_0158 DSC_0159 DSC_0160 DSC_0175 DSC_0176

His garden at Wisley features  naturalistic, flowing plantings of hardy perennials and grasses which look and feel remarkably natural even though carefully and thoughtfully designed.

The word that springs to mind for this planting style is “gentle”. When walking through the gardens along its meandering narrow gravel paths we felt the atmosphere – peaceful, calm and relaxing.