Thursday, 24 April 2008

An afternoon at Herterton House Garden

As it was a wet afternoon, I went visiting some other nurseries and gardens north of here - Stanton Hall near Morpeth, Herterton House at Cambo and Wallington, the National Trust house and garden. Both Herterton and Wallington feature in my book Gardens of Northumberland and the Borders, both are particular favourites of mine and I have been going to them for many years.

Frank Lawley had just cut the topiary and hedges at Herterton House - yew, box and holly - and I marvelled at the clean lines, at his precision and eye. With the perennial plants only just starting to show, it is a wonderful example of the strength of shape and drama that a garden can have at this time of the year if there is good design. At Herterton, he and his wife Marjorie, have achieved a perfect balance between architecture and garden - walking into the Flower Garden (in the picture) there was an air of expectancy as of a stage set, ready for figures to emerge into it.

In summer the planting is breathtaking, the colour sense and layout with its fascinating old varieties of cottage plants really outstanding. Anyone who doesn't know this garden really must visit it as it is an excellent example of late twentieth century design, admired by many top gardeners including the late Christopher Lloyd. With its Physic Garden, Fancy garden (knot beds), gazebo, Topiary Garden and Flower Garden it has so much to delight. This picture of a detail of the hedging shows just how contemporary it is as well in its abstract shapes. Inspirational!

1 comment:

'tansy' said...

I too am a fan of Herterton garden and its amazing topiary - at its best in June but lovely at any time of year, and the plants for sale are unusually packaged - I wont say any more, just go there and buy some, mine have always done well!