Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Garden at Ringmer Park, England - II

Continuing my garden tour through The Garden at Ringmer Park (click here if you want to see Part I), this is what came into sight after passing the rose tunnel leaving the White Garden: Another separated garden room with a beautiful sundial as a focal point framed by neatly trimmed hedges.

It is not too good to see on this photo, but the beds are mounted quite high with organic material, so the soil is super friable. They paid a lot of attention improving the soil in the flower beds in this garden. As you may notice in this part of the garden there was hardly anything blooming, yet. Still, I enjoyed it very much; lush green growth is something that we really can't brag about in San Diego inland and it is so soothing to the eye and soul.


This was the first aquilegia or also called columbine that we saw on our trip. We found many, many more as they were in their prime, but I never got tired of their dainty beauty. Besides, there seems to be an innumerable amount of varieties out there, which differ quite a bit in color and flower form.


These sharp toothed leaves looked quite fascinating to me. Nature was just bursting into spring growth at the time when we visited England.

Close-up of the very tasteful sundial that you have already seen in the opening photo to this post.

This urn blew me away with its beauty. Notice how detailed it is made.

Top of the urn.

There were actually two of these urns facing each other. They were hidden quite a bit by the hedges and looked almost casually placed, which I think adds to the charm of this scene.

In this photo you can see better how high the flower beds are mounded. I am thinking to start to do the same in my own garden, since I feel that the mounding makes a flat garden like mine more interesting looking and my flower beds certainly can use some improvement of the soil. Also notice the artful pruning of the hedges in the background, again.

Another plant which I loved and don't know the name of. I feel the nodding flower heads and buds are so charming.

One of the few roses that were already blooming in this garden. I think it is a rugosa rose, but unfortunately I don't know the variety.

We have seen this intensely blue flowering shrub quite a bit during our stay in England, but never one of this size. Again, I would love to know what this shrub is called. 

If you liked the front of the house, which I showed in my previous post, you will certainly like the back. The proportions of this manor are very well balanced and all the climbing plants give it so much character and charm. At least I am totally in love with its architecture. 

Imagine sitting on the terrace of the house shown on the photo before and looking in the opposite direction. This is the famous view of the South Downs. It was truly spectacular. Unfortunately, I couldn't capture it very well, so my photos don't do it justice.

Close-up of the meadow that you see in the background of the previous photo. I really appreciated how they let the formal lawn change over into a natural meadow. Here you can see some of the narcissus still blooming.

The garden also contained a formal rose garden. Even though usually I don't like roses just planted by themselves, in this setting I do. The design simply works. I think the sheer size of the garden itself and the scale of the formal rose garden just makes a difference in how I perceive this planting style.

The formal rose garden seen from the other direction. Very classic with a statue placed in the middle as a focal point. It just looks right. Even though no rose is blooming, I find this rose garden very appealing. You can only imagine how gorgeous this will look when the roses are in full bloom.

One more shot of the house, this time taken from another angle. I really do love this house! How great it must feel to be able to live in it and enjoy the gardens. 

Another fairytale scene, don't you think?

The garden is so big that I have more photos to show to you, but this will be done in another post. Stay tuned!

See you in the garden!


Friday, May 25, 2012

The Garden at Ringmer Park, England - Part I

My apologies for not posting for quite a while and also not visiting and/or leaving comments on my favorite blogs. Sometimes life just gets into the way of what you intend and love to do. But now I am back. I am not only back to blogging, but I am also back to England!

Unexpectedly it became possible for my husband and I to spent our vacation there this year, again. We are both so happy to be visiting England and savor our time here every single moment. We are staying in West Sussex and exploring this area. There is so much to see and enjoy: visiting quaint old villages and little towns, public and private gardens, admiring ancient manors and castles, taking walks in the countryside, antiquing, shopping, eating a good meal at the local pubs, and of course not to forget having the traditional Cream Teas in the afternoon. 

On our first day in West Sussex we started out with one of my very favorite activities, exploring private gardens. In the context of The National Garden Scheme NGS (if you would like to learn more about it click here) private garden owners open their gems for the public on certain days of the year for a reasonable fee. All proceeds go to charity, which I think is a very noble thing to do. In many of the gardens tea and homemade cake is served, which is an additional highlight besides seeing the gardens. It has always amazed me how beautiful and well maintained all the gardens were that I have seen so far on previous trips to England. Even the "regular gardener" seems to do only "high end gardening". The gardens which open their gates for the NGS range from relatively small ones to the size of huge estates.

In this post I would like to take you on a tour through The Garden at Ringmer Park located in Ringmer, East Sussex. The 8-acre garden is maintained (with the help of one full time gardener plus part time help in the kitchen garden), planted and in great parts designed by the owners Deborah and Michael Bedford, which did an outstanding job on this one. It has many things to offer like wonderful herbaceous borders, a White Garden, rose gardens and absolutely stunning views of the South Downs, a particular beautiful and famous landscape.

The photo above shows the stately and very beautiful house that is the first thing that you see as you enter the part of the property that is actively gardened on. The house was build in 1935.

To the right side of the house is a huge lawn where we were greeted by these friendly fellows. What is an English country house without dogs?

To the left of house there was a stunning specimen of a tree. You see in the background the white tent under which tea an cake was served.

The lichen were quite fascinating on this tree. Some of the lower branches were lovingly staked like the one on the photo above.

The selection of cakes looked pretty tempting, but they had to wait until we were done with the garden tour, even though it was hard to pass them up in the first place.

The left side of the house with the neatly trimmed topiaries, hedges, and boxwood parterre. Notice the wonderfully blooming clematis conquering the walls of the house. To me this looks like a fairytale scene and it was not the only one in this amazing garden.

I fell in love with the old stairs and the blue flowering plants spilling over them.

The topiary from another perspective, a great example of the formal garden style.

To the left of the majestic tree already shown a few photos above was a hedge with a gate cut in, which led to the White Garden. You can see my husband shooting back at me. I guess, he was a little bit bored and wanted me to follow him,...

...but before I could do that I first had to take a close-up of this lovely magnolia tree.

I was more than excited that they had designated a full garden room to be a White Garden. When you follow my blog you know that I have a special affinity for White Gardens and try to do at least a White Garden Bed in my own little patch of land. This White Garden at Ringmer Park, was only the second White Garden besides the very famous one in Sissinghurst that I have ever seen in person.

Unfortunately the weather has been cold and rainy in England in the last couple of weeks prior to our arrival, which led to the plants being way behind their normal blooming time. So the White Garden was more a green one when we were visiting, but with a little bit of imagination you could envision how it would look if things would be more in bloom. Still even though right now more green than white it I consider it to be terrific already!

I really liked this frothy flowering plant and would love to know what it is. Unfortunately the plants where not labeled and there was no plant list available for this garden.

Here you can see a corner of the garden, which has started to bloom in white already. I think it is a dream!

Looking in the opposite direction. The green background that the neatly clipped hedges are providing for this garden room is just perfect for the white flowers to show off. The pond by the way was a former swimming pool! I would exchange that one for ours any time.

One lonely white iris had started to flower already, which you can see on the left side in the wide shot one photo above. What an impressive bloom this is.

Having a closer look at this area.

I guess the rose in the middle is a rugosa rose. Isn't it a dainty beauty?

The whole specimen was a truly gorgeous one.

Close-up of the fountain in the pond. The water gently dripping into the pond made such a soothing sound.

What an inviting exit nudging you to move on to the next garden room. A lovely interesting gate is always such a great addition to enhance a garden. The tunnel-like structure is planted with very well trained roses. It must be a gorgeous sight when they are in bloom.

I had a hard time to leave this part of the garden. One last glance back and off I was to the next garden section. I will blog about it soon. Hope you will continue to join me on the tour in another post.

See you in the garden!