4. Tuesday afternoons through to end September 1-5pm (tour with Kathy at 2pm free) No need to pre-book
Tea on the lawn with Kathy's special floral cakes or inside if wet
Good Gardens Guide The Manor House* with a starred entry.
"A garden of exuberant imagination, atmospheric and brimful of ideas, with a strong emphasis on garden art. Each of the twenty distinct areas is completely different in atmosphere. The summer garden planted round the old fish pond is colourful and strongly Mediterranean, with a variety of succulents and imposing echiums followed by a fine display of aeoniums, agaves and dasylirions. Beautifully understated by contrast is the avenue of Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ‘Grayswood Ghost’ underplanted with acanthus. It leads to a flowery meadow through beds of grasses (dressed with pebbles or slate) which prolong the attraction into autumn and winter. The French garden is an essay in formal design; the yew hedges that back the box parterres commemorate Fouquet’s famous 1661 trial with 12 ‘jurors’ clipped into shape. Moving swiftly forward in time, the visitor comes to a ‘Rothko room’ glowing with purple beech, berberis and prunus, and an airy ‘Hepworth room’ of grasses mingling with herbaceous plants. Major collections of clematis and roses are dotted around the garden."
also see our entry in the definitive new Reader's Digest Book called the Most Amazing 500 gardens in Britain and Ireland.
About 85% of the garden is accessible by wheelchair. Paths are mainly of gravel or grass.
The Manor House Garden extends to four and a half acres. It has been developed and entirely looked after by owners Simon and Kathy Brown over the last twenty years.
Highlights for February (see monthly descriptions for summer gardens)
1. Snaking Winter Walk with filigree birches, colourful cornus stems, sarcoccoca, twisted willow, scented honeysuckle and aconites.
2. The Naturalistic planting combining grasses, with seedheads of echinaceas and sedums etc
3. The Art Gardens drawing inspiration from Monet, Barbara Hepworth, Hokusia, Mondrian etc.
4. Bank of sunny aconites.
5. Two avenues of glistening white stemmed birches.
6. Formal Garden.
The garden has over eighteen different areas of interest (see Plan of Garden page), call them rooms if you like, for they are distinctive but they are not necessarily separated. A formal garden, cottage garden, wisteria walk, various herbaceous borders, major climbing rose displays for end June/early July followed by major clematis displays in July and August; also very exciting container garden displays. There is a dedicated edible flower border, a wild flower meadow looking fantastic with scabious, lady's bedstraw etc, a Pictorial Meadow with cultivated annuals including Ammi Majus from the Nile mixed with cornflowers and red flax , separate avenues of white stemmed birches, metasequoia, eucalypts and gingkos. The Alice in Wonderland tea party scene in the wild flower meadow brings its own little moment of magic! We have Stevington Manor House Honey for sale on the Bee day. Add to these a snaking winter garden and you have the basis for a real treat whatever the time of year you might choose to visit.
In autumn there is a prolific orchard, three art gardens using naturalistic planting schemes, a fourth art room with living Rothko murals and a fifth with pots.
The Edible flower border has lots of tasty flowers according to the season.....sweet ciciley, bonze fennel flowers with pink, white and blue lavenders, daylilies, marsh mallow, bronze fennel, dianthus, pink thymes and marigolds! Lavender and lemon drizzle is one of my most popular cakes, but raspberry and elderflower is even better! Lavender flapjacks with lots of seeds and dates are excellent too. Carrot and marigold cake has now become one of my late summer favourites whilst a classic Victoria sponge (photo) with strawberry and rosewater jam partnered with rosewater cream is brilliant! My Tuesday afternoon visitors enjoy different ones each week! Group visitors can arrange demonstrations on edible flowers.
BBC Gardener's World came to film our edible flower border in Oct 2008. See my blog for lots of edible flower ideas and my book 'Edible Flowers' on Kathy's Books page and Edible Flower Garden page .
I have made a series of cards showing the garden scenes but also 8 floral recipe cards with the cake recipe on the reverse. These are for sale on my open days and group visits. My new Container Gardeningbook contains many long term container ideas which can still be seen around the garden at Stevington.