It is a glorious time of year for garden visiting, however I fear many of us this afternoon will be staying at home to watch the Wimbledon finals. So I am going to take you around Batteleys Cottage Garden which I very much enjoyed last Sunday when it was open for the National Garden Scheme.
Situated in the village of Wortham on the Norfolk/Suffolk border I parked on the sandy heathland and walked up the drive admiring first the charming little corner on the right,
and then decorative bicycle propped against the wall on the left.
Like so many of the gardens open for the scheme, this is privately owned, created by the owners and has a delightful element of surprise when you enter. Stepping onto the lawn to the right of the cottage you are drawn in by this intriguing centrepiece.
The neatly mown lawn (no worn Wimbledon patches here), is surrounded by borders packed with plants; a perfect place to pause awhile and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Across the way bursting out of the perennials, is an explosion of soft blue delphiniums.
It is not just the colour of these borders that is so attractive, but the texture, the rhythm and the movement. It is hard to believe that not that long ago the area was a mass of blackthorn and bramble and not a single herbaceous plant to be seen.
When Andy and Linda began to work on the garden some seven years ago they had to clear 30 huge Leylandii from the boundary. Now a gravel path winds around the perimeter allowing views across the neighbouring fields and letting in light onto the roses cascading around the arches.
The garden is seamlessly divided into different spaces; from the more formal area closer to the house,
through to a wilder area further away, creating a different atmosphere and making the whole one acre garden feel much larger.
This simple map explains the outline but does not show the tremendous impact of the rich planting.
In the centre of the garden is the summer house looking out on to a delightful pond,
an area not only perfect for wildlife but also a place where winged sculptures gracefully fly.
Andy and Linda have no help in the garden each working on average two full days a week. They do however find time to enjoy the results of their labour positioning the many seats around the garden to their best advantage. This elegant seat is set in the long grass in the orchard.
Clematis come into play in every part of the garden, either scrambling with roses against trees,
or climbing up well positioned obelisks,
this is the handsome, velvety ‘Romantika’ who will flower through to the Autumn.
The mix of light and shade has a soothing quality,
as does the gentle sound of the water flowing in the stream.
Around every corner there is something different,
sunny, characterful and almost quirky.
There are two areas for vegetables and it is a delight to see this potager sited conveniently right outside the back door.
Linda has a family link with India and it was on a trip there that she was able to purchase this stone plinth.
Returning to the lawn in front of the house I find this bewitching couple emerging gently from the mixed planting.
Inevitably I succumb to the delicious tea and apricot cake, and it is from the colourful patio outside the sun room that I can really take in the splendour of this beautiful garden.
The garden will be open next year, perhaps at a slightly earlier time so don’t miss it: https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/29923/
And whether you are punting for the Edelweiss or the Lily-of-the-Valley I hope you enjoy the match.