An inspirational garden visit.

Garden visit to The Old Rectory.

On a beautiful sunny September day, we joined the members of the West & Midlands Iris Group visiting the garden of The Old Rectory, Eastnor, Herefordshire.

In 1848 Sir George Gilbert Scott surveyed the Church at Eastnor and made plans to build a new rectory between 1849 and 1850 with a large and asymmetrical house.

 Around this, today’s owners have created a garden of 3.5 acres on Herefordshire red clay, much improved by mulching over the 15 years they have been developing it.

We first visited the walled vegetable garden designed in the style of a potager garden with a mix of fruit, flowers and vegetables, some in raised beds. This area was full of colours from annuals and dahlias, a particular favourite.

Nectarines and peaches are fan trained on the back wall of this greenhouse.

Here fruit trees are grown as either step-overs or espaliers, large apples on the Reverend Wilkes tree particularly caught my eye.

Pots of the beautiful species Pelargonium sidoides decorated the steps…

…down to the traditional orchard edged with two serpentine herbaceous borders.

Then on to a second greenhouse, this one dedicated to growing a variety of peppers and tomatoes. Speckled Heart, a stripy heart-shaped tomato and a black Queen of the Night were two of the more unusual ones.

A bed alongside the greenhouse was filled with more dahlias,

From here you had an excellent view of the ‘piece de resistance’ of the garden, the Tulip bed.

This bed was designed and built only three years ago in the shape of a tulip. In its centre are two curved weathered oak benches partly hidden by a mass planting of, I think, Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.

Two large beds surrounding this are colour themed with white at the far entrance and gradually becoming warmer towards the greenhouse. There is a video link at the end of this post featuring the Tulip Bed.

We next visited the new woodland area and then onto the croquet lawn past rose-covered obelisks. Yew hedges at either end circled a Lutyens-style bench with roses planted behind it and in urns on either side.

Landscaping and different garden ornaments have been used throughout to create interest.

Steps led you up to a terrace packed with planting creating different garden rooms to suit shady or sunny situations.

Ornamental gates lead down to a rose garden and onto a large pond where members were happy to sit and enjoy the setting. Paths cut through the long grass here led you down to the Church.

A truly magnificent garden.

Welcome refreshments were served in the coach house and monies collected will be donated to the Church for repairing the stained glass windows.

Please click on “Watch on YouTube” for the Tulip Shaped bed video:

2 thoughts on “An inspirational garden visit.

  1. Such an interesting garden! We have just returned from the UK. We only had time for one garden visit and we chose to visit the RHS at Wisley, the same weekend that they were hosting a craft fair. Mistake! There were so many cars and people that we turned around in the extra carpark number 4 and made our escape. Surrey seemed so busy to us after the more peaceful Charente Maritime. Amelia

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