Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Garden House - Flowers in the Rain

Perhaps one of the tests of a great garden is it's ability to charm even in the rain. Rain there was aplenty as the inevitable Dartmoor deluge stopped the Socks getting out of the car for ten minutes when they arrived at "Carol Klein's favourite garden" the Garden House, Buckland Monachorum.

The garden didn't just charm, it wowed! Although the South African garden was sodden and most of the pictures taken from the cover of a large umbrella, the rain had bought a new dimension to it, hanging crystal raindrops on the profusion of dieramas and thalictrum and adding a watery shine to the leaves. Even the fountains of grasses had lost none of their exuberance and the interplanting of flowering plants was so mesmerizingly vibrant - the Sock found it difficult to drag herself away.

The rain accentuated the overall lusciousness of the gardens creating an extraordinary green opulence throughout.

So a wet afternoon well spent.

The Sock is informed by Martyn Cox that there is actually an even more interesting garden about two minutes down the lane from The Garden House - 'Wildside' (only open to the public on Thursdays) newly created by Keith Wiley, who was the former head gardener at The Garden House. A Channel 4 television programme is currently being filmed there following the Wileys during a year of their endeavours balancing painting/gardening/nursery work (due to be broadcast later in 2009).

If Wildside has even a smattering of the interest of the Garden House then this promises to be a real goody!


HappyMouffetard said...

What wonderful descriptions (and photos of course!). There's a lot to be said for visiting gardens in the rain. You'd have had to share it with more people if it was sunny, for a start.

Fat Rascal said...

Lovely. The sort of planting I aim for!

Everything is parched here, there's no happy medium, is there?

Ms B said...

Those photos are glorious! I must put it on my list of places to go.

Looking on the Wildside web site I see that Keith Wiley was one of the gardeners in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition of influential gardeners. I have just been reading about him in the very expensive book that looked at all the participants. I am waiting to go to a desert island so I can read the rest of the book.

PS no CB!

Juliet said...

That looks beautiful, Arabella - I love the mix of colours in the third photo down especially. I don't think I have ever been there, so will have to add it to my list of places to visit as well.

You are so right about the best gardens looking good even in the rain - one of my favourites is Heale House near Salisbury, and my photos of that were taken from under a large umbrella too. I'm still hoping to go back and see it again in the sun!

YAN said...

Wonderful! And even though it was beautiful in the rain, you really need to go back in the sunshine to check it out again. Plus the Wildside one, as well, of course ...

Arabella Sock said...

The mix of grasses and flowers was a revelation to me - I would never have thought that dieramas could look so good with them. I've always kept my grasses together and don't tend to like them mixed in herbaceous borders. I did buy a couple of dieramas - couldn't resist. Whether they will ever grow in my garden is another matter.