Take a walk around our Garden
The gardens are set around the Curl Brook in 5 acres of mainly level ground. The pathways are grassed with numerous bridges criss-crossing the tangle of streams and ponds. There is a mass of colourful moisture-loving plants, shaded by a backdrop of mature trees and shrubs. Enjoy a stroll around the ponds or climb the spiral path of the grass mound to take in the spectacular views of the local countryside. Take your time and rest on one of the many benches dotted around the garden as there is so much to see.
We have started to develop the large field to the front of the property, next to the Café and nursery. In particular you will see a 2 metre high Moon Gate set within a newly laid beech hedge. This gate will lead visitors to the first of the new gardens we intend to lay out in the coming years. We have also started planting trees throughout the 12 acre site that we will progressively add to as we develop our plans. Of course, these new gardens will continue the water theme of the main garden and embraces the brook as it meanders its way through the field and on to Pembridge. We will update this site to keep you informed of our progress, but in the meantime, enjoy the journey through the existing and mature garden
The Bog Garden
Entering the main part of the garden, past the Water Tower and over the Mill Pool bridge, you will find the Bog Garden to your left, rich in water-loving plants. Paths criss-cross the bog allowing a close-up view of many individual plants. From the Bog Garden you may wander in any of several directions.
The Big Pond
Behind the giant cornus hedge that provides a screen at the back of the Bog Garden you come to the Big Pond flanked by massed groups of moisture-loving plants, both large and small. On one side are mainly giant irises and rushes, while on the other side you walk between the pond and the leat - the channel which feeds the mill, in the midst of exuberantly colourful primulas, hemerocallis, ligularia and other water-lovers.
The pond used to be fed from Curl Brook but due to the high levels of nitrates and phosphates, this created a persistent problem of algae build up. As a result, the feed was changed to the spring water that comes down the channel behind the Cuckoo Clock and so far, this has resulted in clearer water, although duck week and other pond weeds offer new challenges!
The Cairn Garden
The rose Rambling Rector and wisteria festoon a pergola that separates the Cairn Garden from the Big Pond. In the Cairn Garden, boardwalks take you over a maze of small channels that run between a number of islands of luxuriant plant growth. A fountain bubbles from the cairn at the centre from which you can see the African Summer House which provides welcome shade on a hot day.
The Wild Flower Meadow
From the Cairn Garden you cross bridges over the new planting of the Cut and reach the Canal at the edge of the Wild Flower Meadow.
The canal connects the two brooks and is important for the flood defenses of the property as it allows water to be diverted from the brook which flows in front of the house to the one that flows down past the café.
Follow a stream-side walk bordered by an avenue of Poplars and other trees and shrubs, then cross the Meadow to climb to the top of the Spiral Mound and feel like the king of the castle! From the mound, you have the best view of the wild flower meadow and grass meadow. Both meadows were originally sown with wild flowers but only the area where the wild flowers have flourished had the top soil removed first. Incidentally, if you're standing on the spiral mound looking down, you're standing on that top soil!
Continue along the pathway next to the brook and you will reach the end point of the garden which is where the two brooks that feed the property meet - Sour Brook which comes in from your left and Curl Brook that is straight ahead.
Carry on round on the path and you will enter a more wooded section of the garden that will ultimately lead you back to the start point.
The 'Monet' Bridge and Lily Pond
Returning to the main part of the garden, you can cross the leat through a tunnel of giant leaves of gunnera to reach the Lily Pond and the blue Monet Bridge.
Meander along the Rill with its massed primulas backed by the Giant Cuckoo Clock in its setting of evergreens.
On your right is the Orchard Spinney underplanted with a variety of shade-loving groundcover plants and shrubs.
This should bring you back in front of the house. Do continue under the canopy of the large willow tree and follow the path around the side of the house to appreciate the more traditional planting. Also, don't miss the 'borrowed' view of the apple orchard next door, great at any time of the year but especially when the trees are in blossom.