This garden has a very conspicuous feel of informality despite there being a strong design structure.
The central circular bed, the geometric arrangement of fruit trees (Quince and Apple), and the lines of the four Philadelphus hedges creating a square-within-a-square (reflective of the garden’s boundary walls), are all intrinsically softened by the late Spring blossoms of fruit trees, flowering Philadelphus hedges and Crab Apple (‘Red Sentinel’) espalier.
In the Orchard Garden we allow sections of the grass to grow longer with connective paths mown through them, and in Autumn 2015 we planted those areas of longer grass with Tulipa sylvestris and Fritillaria meleagris, which we hope will add to the sense of a relaxed space and enhance the garden’s late Spring show. The underplanting of Erigeron karvinskianus beneath the ‘Red Sentinel’ espalier adds longevity to the ‘frothy’ blossom effect within the Orchard Garden and continues to flower strongly throughout the whole of summer.
The top bed (South-facing) of the Orchard Garden contains some interesting Magnolias (‘Maryland’ and M. grandiflora ‘Goliath’) both of which produce very large blooms and flower later in the year than most Magnolias. There is a large Wisteria ‘Caroline’ and a fantastic early-flowering, thornless Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ which has enough protection to produce a good show year on year. There are a good number of smaller perennials and annuals present including Veronica ‘Georgia Blue’ and ‘Ionian Skies’, Phlox subulata, and a number of Diascias.
Notably, the East bed contains two mature wall-trained roses: Rosa ‘Alfred Carriere’ and Rosa ‘Alchemist’. Both are fantastic roses and both have the ability to tear a gardener to shreds!