(you can click on the photos to enlarge)
One of the things that I enjoyed most in our recent vacation to England was besides visiting the grand public gardens to see private gardens, designed, planted, and tended to by "real gardeners", which in most cases means by the owner him/herself.
There is a great tradition in England called the National Garden Scheme, where private garden owners open their gardens to the public at certain days of the year. For a small admission that is used for charity you get to see absolutely lovely private gardens of all types and sizes. Very often you can have a cream tea for a little extra money, sit down, enjoy the garden and indulge in homemade scones or cakes and tea or if you like coffee, too. My husband and I had the most wonderful time visiting these gardens. Very often the owner is present and happy to answer questions about the garden, plants or chat about whatever you have on your mind. Most gardeners that we met that way were very enthusiastic and open to talk about their gardens and you could feel the love and passion that they put in their yards with every word that you exchanged. I would wish that the tradition of open gardens would also be more common in the US. It is just so much fun to do it!
This post is about Mrs. Wendy Liddle's garden, which was listed in the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), gardens open for charity, Sussex Gardens 2011 brochure this year (all photos that you have seen so far are from her incredible backyard). One of the in my eyes main attractions of this yard was the perfect integration of art into the garden. The garden and the art seem to enhance each other. On the photo below you can see a sculpture made by Philip Jackson titled "Reading Chaucer" placed in the perfect shady spot in front of a planting bed, with a big tree to the right and a pale lilac rhododendron to the left. The sculpture itself is just stunning, but the placement in the garden made it even more fascinating!
Here you can see the sculpture from the side. If I understood it correctly, the sculpture was a fiberglass model of the original sculpture made out of bronze. It was a loan of the artist to Mrs. Liddle for the open gardens event. Mrs. Liddle admired with this work of art very much and would have loved to keep the sculpture in her garden after the open gardens days were over. I would be so happy for her if she found a way to achieve this, since to me this piece of art seems to be just meant for her garden and she appreciated it so much.
The garden contained many unusual and fascinating plants like this very delicate allium variety that I think was so very charming...
... or this campanula whose flower was almost formed like a narcissus.
Mrs. Liddle liked to plant things very densely so that there was almost not soil to see in between the plants. Sometimes you felt you where totally engulfed by green. This almost completely green bed was soothing and could stand for itself just fine. Do you see the mirror in between the greenery? Very nice surprise!
Another unexpected surprise catching your eye only when you look closely. Isn't the lily great as a background? Almost like a spotlight that draws your eye to the little sculpture.
Beautiful use of a container on a pedestal.
And another pedestal with a very lovely planted pot on top. This was my personal favorite!
There were many interesting containers scattered throughout the garden with lovely plantings that brought lots of color where it was needed.
Beautiful bed in a shady corner of the backyard.
And a flower bed in a more sunny location.
The same bed photographed from a different angle.
I just loved the orange lilies. They were so vibrant and cheerful.
In this sitting area below my husband and I had our cream tea after we were done shooting photos. It was so nice to sit in this secluded peaceful space. I felt so private and protected.
There was a container with an almost clematis positioned in this sitting area, which lightened up the shade in a very nice way.
To the right side of the clematis in the corner there was this beautiful hanging basket placed to catch your attention.
Another lovely section of one of the many flower beds. I really liked that Mrs. Liddle used a lot of blue flowering plants in her beds.
This was yet one more beautiful combination of blue flowering plants.
Thank you very much Mrs. Liddle for opening your garden to the public, the time that you took to talk to my husband and I, the delicious cream tea and, of course, last but not least for allowing me to feature your lovely garden on my blog.
See you in the garden!