Before sharing a few photos from our Californian adventure I thought it would be best to catch up with a couple of things I wanted to share from the hectic month of June. I meant to post these before we went away, but time got the better of me!
First up is a visit I made to Spencer’s The Garden in Great Yeldham, Essex. I was lucky to spend a morning here at the very end of June, just before leaving for California.
I first discovered this beautiful old house and garden about 8 years ago when I lived in a nearby village. This old Georgian house (built around 1760) was owned by the Courtauld family at the time of my first visit and the stunning Walled Garden was managed by an entourage of full and part time gardeners. About 3 years ago the house was sold and I am delighted that the new owners are carrying on the tradition of opening this truly romantic garden to the public on a regular basis, although it is now managed with far less help.
The beautiful timber framed greenhouse in the Walled Garden also dates back to 1760 and is said to be the oldest greenhouse in Essex. It is home to a packed collection of pelargoniums and other tender plants.
The building below must be the most magnificent potting shed in the country!! I had to photograph it from a distance to get the unusual roof in, so you can only see the second storey above the pergola in this picture.
Whilst the house is surrounded by 100 acres of farmland and woodland, the flower garden is found close to the house in the Walled Garden. Occupying about an acre this beautiful enclosed space is home to all the english garden favourites – roses, delphiniums, peonies and foxgloves are growing cheek by jowl in packed beds divided by immaculate grass paths and cleverly interwoven with vegetables, annuals and perennials.
There are literally row after row of beautiful delphiniums.
Great use is made of benches, obelisks and sundials to lead you down the myriad of narrow paths.
The backdrop to all the planting is these beautiful old walls.
At the entrance to the Walled Garden you can find the swimming pool – surrounded by climbing roses hugging the walls and tumbling over metal arches. This must be the perfect place to while away a summer afternoon when the garden is closed to the public.
Much use is made of the old yew and box hedges, their neat clipped lines containing the romantically rambling roses and exuberant planting.
Foxgloves have been used to fill every available space – they can be found growing amongst all the plantings. Sadly the foxglove season finishes as June departs, but this was a great reminder to me to make sure I sow lots of seeds to fill my own borders with foxgloves this autumn!
I have never visited any other garden so intensively planted with scented roses – there are ramblers, climbers, tea roses, shrub roses and standard roses everywhere you look. On a warm day the scent is quite overpowering.
The honeysuckle on the long pergola was also in flower. One of my favourite scented plants in the June garden, this too is now over for another year.
In both my current and last garden this beautiful walled space has been highly influential in my choice of design and plants. It will be many years and a lot more work before my current garden will reach anything like the maturity of Spencer’s, but a regular visit to this very special place does much to keep my motivation up!
Next on my catch up posts is a look at the stunning day we spent at Royal Ascot Races in mid June. Before that though I will be back on Friday with a peek at my July Cutting Garden.