Haseley Court , Great Haseley – Mr and Mrs Desmond Heyward
In 1954 Nancy Lancaster moved to a near-derelict Haseley Court and began to create the stylish and elegant English garden to match the interior decoration of the house which she worked on with John Fowler. There was topiary here in 1543 and the ancient topiary chess set, still in excellent shape, miraculously survived the Second World War. In 1982 Desmond and Fiona Heyward moved into Haseley Court and initially shared the garden with Mrs Lancaster, who died in 1994. Since then, Fiona Heyward has continued to develop the garden, making it very much her own, with advice from David Hicks and Penelope Hobhouse. At its heart, the walled garden, with its hornbeam tunnels, is a beguiling mix of old roses, foxgloves, peonies and other summer-flowering perennials. This garden gets better every year and is still immensely stylish and elegant.
Rofford Manor, Little Milton – Mr and Mrs Jeremy Mogford
Jeremy and Hilary Mogford started at Rofford with a blank canvas and began to lay out the garden to their own design, only later calling on Michael Balston to advise on the detailed planting. Far from resting on their laurels, this beautifully maintained garden is constantly evolving. The entrance court sets the pace, with pleached limes growing from elegantly clipped box drums. Throughout the garden the planting is carefully considered; profusion in the borders, simplicity and restraint in planting and colour in the smaller garden rooms around the house. The long vista, across the croquet lawn, which leads the eye into the countryside beyond the ha-ha, is balanced by the immaculate walled kitchen garden, beyond which lies the serene wood and water garden around the lake.
The Grange, Chalgrove – Mr and Mrs Peter Farren
Vicky and Peter Farren bought the Grange for its ten-acre garden, which had been so neglected that, apart from the structure of trees and the lake, they had to rise to the challenge and start from scratch. An arboretum surrounds a rectangular pool, once used for swimming, while behind the house, curved borders are sheltered by yew hedges beyond which lie an orchard of venerable apples and a vegetable garden with raised beds. From the house, the garden runs down to a stream and beyond to the willow-fringed lake, crossed by elegant wooden, Wisteria-clad bridges onto a densely-planted island. On the far bank borders, filled with Miscanthus and late summer-flowering perennials, lead to paddocks fenced with cleft chestnut and to the wild flower meadow and new woodland walk.