Brockhampton Cottage, Brockhampton
Peter Clay Esq
Peter Clay inherited Brockhampton and its wonderful views towards Ross-on-Wye and engaged Tom Stuart-Smith to create an ever-expanding garden immediately around the house. The result is a romantic mixture of structural planting and borders filled with Euphorbia, Alliums , Geraniums and Erymurus spilling away from the rose-covered house. Topiaried columns of beech march along a grass terrace on one side of the house with views between them onto an orchard of perry pears. In the valley, Peter has created a lake around which he has created a second, less structured, garden of trees and shrubs, approached through a spectacular wild-flower meadow. Visits to Brockhampton Cottage were, in past years, always in the early autumn to see the late summer-flowering perennials (see Tour 16), but now that wild-flower meadow is well established with five or six species of orchid in swarms it has become a garden to visit in June as well.
Kentchurch Court, Pontrilas
Mrs Jan Lucas-Scudamore
There have been Scudamores at Kentchurch for a thousand years. The square tower’s foundations are Anglo-Saxon. The 14th century house was remodelled by John Nash in 1795. It sits snugly under the lea of wooded hills with its park, containing not only a herd of fallow dear, but the largest specimens of field maples in the country. The gardens were laid out after 1815 in a series of walled enclosures where riotous perennials are barely contained within their borders and have indeed taken over an otherwise abandoned greenhouse. In contrast, the kitchen garden is immaculately ordered, with delicious combinations of vegetables and flowers, such as an eye-catching pairing of cavolo nero and blue cornflowers. Sweet peas, Clematis and roses in abundance fill the other beds. Jan Lucas-Scudamore will show us the interior of her house, before giving us lunch.
The Green, Welsh Bicknor
Mr and Mrs Patrick Vaughan
The Green, almost impossible to find, seems very remote, but its setting, gazing eastwards on a shoulder of hill surrounded on three sides by a loop of the River Wye, is magical. In 1981 Patrick and Lorna Vaughan moved into an abandoned farmhouse and Lorna began to create a garden from scratch. The hillside setting lends itself to terraces and the highest point of the garden is an enclosed south facing courtyard, filled with roses, citrus trees and grey-leaved perennials sprawling over wide cobbled steps. Curving steps lead down to a box parterre, whose clipped lines are softened by clouds of Euphorbia wulfenii. Below this is a productive potager to supply the house. The lowest level is a long blue and white border edged with Nepeta x faassenii. A woodland garden slopes down to a new pond and nearby Lorna Vaughan and her gardener Anna Stankiewicz are establishing wild-flower meadows and keeping bees.