One of the sweet spots of the summer season is the moment when our calendar gets filled with dates to visit gardens open for charity on behalf of The National Garden Scheme. More exterior than interior I suppose but fairly inextricably linked for floral/botanical design inspiration and for the patterns found in imaginative landscaping. These are usually private gardens and there is often damn fine cake freshly baked from precious family recipes. If you are lucky, proper tea cups and saucers with the odd plant to buy and a bit of bunting. Heaven really.
English secret garden tour
Without further ado, I am going to share with you a very special secret garden, located in deepest Berkshire which sort of had it all for me. It had the right balance between clipped and wild, a walled vegetable garden planted with military precision, a secret garden door, rose arbour, cricket pitch, tennis court, swimming pool, borrowed landscape and some seriously swoony roses.
Look out for the deeply pleasing wavy hedge and the spliced flint diamond-shaped path. Tea was served in an ancient barn and the house, 18th Century (not open) looked like it had entertained the odd notable or two in its time…
Thank you to the owners who so kindly open their gardens for charity and to you for taking the time to look. More scrolling than reading this time but that seems completely appropriate when the pictures will do the talking! We have been to see another today, the antithesis of the secret garden.
It was a meadow garden where the borrowed landscape was an industrial estate with some textural industrial corrugated fencing and an electricity pylon which straddled part of the garden. It was inspiring and really good to see that the National Garden scheme is including a variety of gardens in its selection process. Will put it on my Instagram Stories today for anybody interested!
Don’t forget to look up the National Garden Scheme Yellow Book, which is now online to find your nearest garden. The gardens are sometimes city roof gardens, tiny ones and ones as I described above which have grown out of quite unprepossessing locations.
With best wishes, Charis x