The Garden Gate was open at Cobbs Hall, Great Saxham last Sunday (13th August). Situated some 4 miles West of Bury St. Edmunds I was amongst an astonishing 670 other NGS visitors.
Butterflies danced above the late summer borders vibrant with colour. This golden Dahlia nestled between artichokes,
and orange helenium gloried in the August sun.
I was accompanied by my writer friend who lives near Newmarket; very much a non gardener she was glad to find a comfortable spot in the shade where she could sit in peace.
We sat together for some time taking in the splendour of the afternoon and ‘people watching’ as visitors enjoyed the garden.
The garden is surrounded by a wall, a fortification against the increasing population of deer. Close to our seat a secret paved area, shaded by trees and hedge, the ferns, moss and ivy contribute to a air of quiet contemplation.
The gates in the wall open wide to allow a view of the harvested farmland beyond.
The centre of the garden is dominated by a series of ponds, where a boat lies hidden in the weeping willows.
On this side the water cascades over small rocks which brings much pleasure to the owner’s little grandson who plays with his toys in the gentle flow.
A smooth head of stone surveys the scene from his pedestal.
The wall is not actually built on the perimeter but set back a little away allowing for the garden to seemingly overflow. The doorway invites us to take a look.
A folly contains the redundant bore-hole pump that used to raise the water from 70m below the ground.
I listen to visitors exclaim, charmed by this little girl tucked in a recess by the gothic doorway.
The dappled light on the shades of green is exquisite this afternoon.
there is an occasional flush of colour and this fuchsia is planted in an old tree stump.
Across the pond, it is a picture of people pausing by the water’s edge.
Reflective and calming the water is clear.
In a previous garden I spent sometime trying to avoid an ugly tennis court, which every time I pointed the lens would appear in the picture. Here the tennis court is virtually unseen, surrounded by mature planting,
it is a delight, one of those rare grass courts, where people want to kick of their shoes and play a game.
The shaded path leads back to the house, a touch of what you might call shabby chic in a horticultural sense,
a complete contrast to the parterre in front of the house.
Before taking tea we visit the kitchen garden where a pear trained against the wall, is laden with fruit,
and onions, in their straight lines grow down on the central bed,
whilst runner beans reach for the sky.
There is plenty of produce here, the corn-on-the-cob ripening in the sun.
Just outside the walls of the kitchen garden is a mulberry, its fruit in various stages of ripening.
The neat greenhouse sits comfortably not far from the back door,
it too is abundant with fruit.
The climb up to the tree house is indeed steep; definitely made for small children, I felt like Alice, completely oversized.
It is time for tea which is busily served from the kitchen courtyard,
and it is a joy to sit and relax. I wonder just how often we find the time to sit in our own gardens. We chat for far too long and realise that most of the visitors have all gone now. The garden is beginning to breathe a sigh of relief in the evening light.
Cobbs Hall has been open for the NGS for over a decade raising thousands of pounds for the nursing charities the scheme supports. The owners now in their seventies feel it is time to downsize and so now at the end of the lawn the garden gate has been closed for the very last time.