story

Hello, welcome to our garden

We hope there is something here for everyone, it is an idyllic haven, a hideaway place full of secret paths, and unusual plants. Step through the arched gateway into our fantasy garden and be immersed in scents, textures and colour. We are garden artists working with the beauty of Pinsla and with the natural materials around us.

Mark and I have been gardening here since 1982. When we came it was an overgrown forest of Laurel hiding a fairy tale cottage. It was so overshadowing and nutrient stealing that few other plants could grow. So we cut it back, pulled out the roots and improved the soil by growing Lupins, and mulching with compost and muck. We grew fruit and vegetables and experimented in shaping and planting the flower garden. We learnt to take cuttings, divide herbaceous plants and grow from seed, and by letting nature take its course we appreciated the magic around us. The Birch trees in the woodland are self seeded, lichens and mosses clothe tree trunks and banks, fungi springs from the logs we use to edge the paths. We want the garden to drift imperceptibly into the wood surrounding it. Ivy, Campion and Foxgloves have marched in, Tellimas and Vincas have migrated out. We have softened the fences by weaving in prunings and decorative metal, and the hedges by cutting them into billowing shapes.

We are gradually introducing a tapestry of ground covering plants, notice the Cyclamen, Erythroniums and Epimediums early in the season, the spears of Hostas and Solomon’s Seal bursting through in spring, and a huge variety of Cranesbills and annuals from early summer against a backdrop of ferns. As the season progresses drifts of Sweet Rocket and Lady’s Mantle act as a foil for Innula, Lysimachia and Alstroemerias. The garden grows yet higher as Thalictrums and Verbena Bonariensis tower over you, but there is still a lot happening on the ground. Persicarias, Anagalis and wild strawberries creep between plants while Scaeveola, Begonias and Bidens have been liberated from hanging baskets to fill gaps.

There are lots of lovely shrubs and trees too, notice the delicate colouring of the Japanese Acers, the spiny trunks of Aralia Elata and the triangular leaves of the weeping Acacia Pravissima. The black stemmed Bamboo Phylostachys Nigra cannot be missed or the giant oat grass Stipa Gigantica when its seed heads are shimmering in the sun. We grow plenty of succulents as well, Pots of dark and gangly Aeonium Zwartkop contrast with apple green of Aeonium Canariense, blue glazed pots reflect the shiny jade colouring of Echiverias, and Aloe Aristata jostles for space.

Our garden is not just about plants though; we also make decorative paths, arches, shelters and edgings. Granite boulders have been painstakingly nudged into chosen positions, both in the stone circle, the grass garden and beside the main path of slate, stone, and incised concrete. Pebbles and pots make spirals; tiles are used on their edges for paving. White Feldspar makes glittering columns for the tea shelter and broken mirror lines the pergola roof in the moss garden. Oak roots are used to heighten walls, and mystical sculptures peep out from behind trees.

We have made our garden for fun and to entertain and relax you. We hope you enjoy your visit and take away some creative ideas. If you want to know more please ask.

Best Wishes

Mark and Claire Woodbine