Thursday, 26 August 2021

Visit to Gasper Cottage - Mid August

 Our first visit to Gasper Cottage a couple of weeks ago was a great success.  What beauties in the way of situation and planting, in this very tranquil location.  On a warm day what could be greater than sitting besides the pond watching dragon flies, or watching the grasses way in the breeze from the seat at the top end of the Orchard.  

The family were in the garden, as was their gardener, and being a keen garden designer owner Bella Hoare was very happy to answer questions about a couple of plants I had seen.  Also her art studio was open with some of her current works.  Partner Johnnie Gallop was around and his book A Memory of Lies was available to buy, so a copy was purchased, and will have good reading I hope over the next few weeks.

Salvia Purple rain in a mass planting

I seem drawn to various systems of plant support, and found this series of linked circles of stems particularly pleasing, forming an interesting sculptural element through which trailing plants could wind their way through.  

If there is to be a specially commissioned  sculpture surely a gateway through which one has to walk, is one of the best forms as it can be so closely appreciated each time one moves from one part of the garden to another, and as this is on the way to the studio a great way to inspire and bring on creative instincts.

Just outside the studio is a sky reflecting circular pond, with shaded seating.

There were throughout the garden great combinations of colour.

The Orchard with its cleverly planted meadow was in my opinion best viewed from the bench at the top corner looking down across and towards the central statue of two bird like forms,.  Walking around the perimeter one could be persuaded that they were forming a moving ballet and froze the moment you looked at them.  

The gardener pointed out this interesting plant which they had grown from seed this year: Cuphea viscosisima, and offered me some of the spent seed heads.

The views from the garden of the surrounding countryside were quite charming.

Close to the house, a mature woven willow hedge had cross growths that had fused together. When pruned hard of the lush growth or in winter with the sun shining through it must form an interesting feature and help to diffuse any winds crossing the valley.

To one side of the lawn a long mixed border had a good collection of interesting plants.

To the very front of the border, by the steps, my eye was drawn to this little Persicaria.  This is one of the plants which Bella Hoare was happy to expand on.  It is Persicaria capitatum Afghan. 

Another attractive front of the border Persicaria a little further along P. Donald Lowndes, with its pale and darker flowering stems and neat glossy foliage, was used to set off taller plants behind.

Dotted around the tables and also grouped together were some fine bonsai.  With some newly trained plants one could see the effort taken to ease the branches into the classic forms.  However with planters this size, Hoare Junior emphasized that sometimes watering is required twice daily.  This was his particular interest and he was pleased that Bella was now taking to it too.

Again I am noticing interesting placements for bright marigolds.  This one looked a little like Cinnabar.

A garden well worth visiting, and one which is kept vibrant with regular trials of plant groupings.  Already in the small glasshouse were several pans of newly emerging seedlings. I really ought to have noted some of the names!

1 comment: