Thank goodness for that – only having lived within striking distance of this Tudor House, Walled Garden and Parkland just down the A3 between Guildford and Godalming – for nigh on 19 years – we got there! And we were not disappointed.
This is a busy estate and a very busy wedding venue – so opening times are limited and best to check with them before your visit to see which areas are open and which are being put into service for the various events taking place. As it was today – the House was opening at 2pm, an hour later than advertised, and the White Garden was closed off after 1pm, so happy we made it around before the fortunate guests who could admire it with a glass of fizz.
It reminded me a little of Penshurst Place, also Tudor, and with a walled garden, though on a much more domestic scale. It was, and is, a family home, and the walled garden spans 2.5 acres not 11, as with its Kent counterpart. It reminded me also of Wollerton Old Hall, with topiary and distinct rooms – but here this Surrey garden contains a rose garden, flower garden, herb and culinary garden, plus a moat garden and lawns to the side of the house. Parkland to the front, dropping down to a pleasant lake where a picnic would have been lovely.
Having just co-hosted a White Garden workshop – the notes are on my recent story list, it was a pleasure to find a version here at Loseley, planted around a rectangular pond, stone terrace, tiered fountain plashing water nicely, with billows of white, silver, grey, pewter and cocooning hedging just offering glimpses through to the neighbouring flower garden or moat (a long canal really, steep sided but not encircling the property).
Of course there are photographs, taken both with my Nikon D7200 and this time the macro 105mm lens (for close up and portrait – it was a bright day so have had to tone down some of the images for being overbright; I hope I haven’t gone too far). The wider shots are from my mobile phone and don’t come out too shabby. I should save up for a better short zoom lens, as the kit version that came with the camera really isn’t up to task, the macro lens is ace, hence the mix and match.
Let’s get on with the images then – general shots, the first lawned garden with warm walls minimally clothed in roses, and a drought-tolerant herbaceous planting. A wisteria would have been spectacular a few weeks ago. But the garden, with its wide expanse of lawn is a teaser, an amuse-bouche to the main events. Two entrances, one through clipped Yew hedging, another through into an arched pergola with a flourishing vine, to one side of the rose garden.
An arched pergola clothed in a flourishing vine leads you in to the Rose Garden, opening out to your right, or you can enter centrally through a strong clipped Yew hedge. Plenty of sculpture placed throughout this garden.
Many Rugosa rose hybrids, which the insects were loving, I saw Olivia Rose Austin too, but if there were labels for most, I missed them. The whole garden was fragrant with rose. Billows of Euphorbia characias Wulfenii punctuate the planting, and are even more prolific in the next garden.
From here there are several options, to head out to the moat, looked over from a banked lawn, or through to the Flower Garden, which is what I did. Beautiful clouds of Euphorbia and herbaceous perennials, soft blues, shots of fierce red and orange, pleached trees, formal in layout, but loose in execution with plants spilling out onto the paths, as they will do even more so as the season develops.
Busy bee, in that there Poppy.
There is a gravel garden adjacent to the Flower Garden, with an emphasis on the culinary and medicinal, and the transition is subtle; half globes of topiary are studded into the aggregate, the pleached trees are left behind. Glasshouses frame the boundary.
I like it that they are not afraid of empty space, or an empty pot.
This last image of the Foxgloves leads us neatly into the next garden, their White Garden. Please do seek out my notes from my recent workshop. I overheard one visitor comment that it would be a beautiful garden in the evening and that is essentially, where a pale-flowered and pewter-leaved garden would shine best. Who do I know that might want to get married?
Quite enchanting, this garden and the venue for a Wedding Party this afternoon; we could so easily have been unable to have a proper look around. Really rather lovely. Green, as I mentioned in my workshop, an essential foil. There were primrose yellows as well as creams, not just blinding white, and all a jumble.
See the Hippo …
Above, the Moat, with views across the wildflower meadow opposite, and glimpses through the Pleached trees and hedges into the gardens laid out below. The Mulberry tree, said to have been planted by Elizabeth 1.
Free entry for RHS members, in May I think only, and #7.50 for the garden visit otherwise. Check their website for opening times and for special events that might otherwise curtail the enjoyment of your visit, but I will be back I’m sure. I hope you too have enjoyed the tour and will spend a little more time perusing the archives here, going back six years now and with over 1300 posts and counting. And I heartily recommend a visit to these romantic and atmospheric gardens.
Coming up in the next few days and weeks for the Teddington Gardener, notes on planting for honey bees, gardening in shade and a Celebration of Roses, plus notes and galleries from any outings I may be fortunate enough to make when I am not at Petersham Nurseries. On that final note, can I share with you my commute home one sunny evening last week, cow parsley, Teddington Lock, roses – and on that final final note – the display of roses floating in a giant bronze cooking bowl at Petersham … you are very welcome to come and say hello!