Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Working in the walled garden - part the first

Throughout July and August and now into early September the walled garden at the Garden House has looked spectacular.  In particular, the lowest of the four terraces on the hillside below the house, within the walls and ruins of the 15th Century vicarage has been a delight to photograph.

View across the lower terrace borders towards the tower at the Garden House
One trick I've been using is to get height by mounting the camera on a monopod and hoisting it up into the air to give me photo viewpoints at the 10-12ft/3-3.5m level.  It's a bit hit and miss - but when it works it gives me a view over the Phillyrea angustifolia var. rosmarinifolia hedges that are a wonderful feature of this part of the garden.  Planted as an experiment to provide an alternative to the increasingly disease prone box hedging, they're cut three times a year to a narrow topped vertical accent that sways and undulates if the wind gets hold - or a vagrant hand should happen to brush the hedge in passing.

Effectively, they divide the lower terrace into separate planting areas that can be individually themed amidst the overall theme of hot colours at this time of year,  It also leads to some attractive patterns - as with this zigzag of the hedges and the central grass path all framing the tower.

Hedges and grass path produce a zigzag affect leading to the tower at the Garden House
There are a couple of viewpoints that allow a higher vantage without the need to hoist the camera on high.  The window of the tower, visible in the shot above, provides a great vantage point for an overview of the west end of the lower terrace.

Overview of the west part of the walled garden lower terrace taken from the tower
There are also views from the top of the tower.  Regrettably, I suffer from vertigo* so you won't see many of those on this blog.

Given the wealth of colour and interest in this small part of the overall garden it's hard to pick out favourite combinations.  But here's a couple to whet your appetite.  I'll add more in part two of this post.  After I've updated my Dicksonia antarctica growth posts with the latest stats.  It's grown a bit more.

Astilbe, Helenium and cactus Dahlia in the lower terrace of the walled garden

Phlox, alstroemeria, Black mondo grass and Dahlia 'Summertime' in the lower terrace of the walled garden
*Strictly speaking it's not vertigo.  I actually suffer from a fear of standing on any unstable surface and of grounds.  Specifically, of hitting the ground at gravity accelerated speed after a fall from height (any height will do) due to the unstable surfaces.  If my footing is stable I'm - theoretically - OK to gaze down bottomless chasms.  Not many of those around Plymouth so I'm rarely tested. However, I don't care how stable they are, do not invite me to walk across glass bridges.  My reply will not be polite.