16. Wiltshire Friday 7 July

Chisenbury Priory, East Chisenbury – Mr and Mrs John Manser

The two borders in the forecourt of Chisenbury Priory have been recently replanted by Tom Stuart-Smith. This spectacular garden, planted and maintained with great skill and enthusiasm by John Manser, is contained within sheltering chalk walls. Behind the house a lawn extends to a spectacular modern rose-covered wrought-iron pergola, whose uprights alternate with buttresses of yew. The willow-shaded stream, whose banks are obscured by clumps of Hostas and Gunnera, runs through the length of the garden. Beside the house a number of smaller gardens, box-hedged to hold in check Iris and Allium, sweet peas and rambling roses, give onto an orchard with mown grass paths winding through the long grass and apple trees.

Moor Hatches, West Amesbury – Mr and Mrs Guy Leech

The garden at Moor Hatches was also designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, who laid out the garden from 2008, starting from scratch. The brief was to create a low-maintenance garden, which related to the surrounding landscape. An archway leads through to a forecourt with wide stone paths and borders of hot-coloured plants including Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’. From the house, a lawn stretches down to the River Avon, where pools have been created and planted naturally in the newly-reformed river bank. Behind the house is the garden around the swimming pool contained within thatched cob walls. The beds around the pool, on two levels, are a mixture of grasses and later summer-flowering perennials with blocks of beech hedges to give a permanent structure to this space.

Wudston House, Wedhampton – Mr and Mrs David Morrison

Wudston House is a recent creation, born out of a redundant farmyard and completed in 2009. The garden, a passion of David’s, was started in 2010. Beside the house a hornbeam tunnel, supported by an impressive oak framework, separates a vegetable garden from a sunken garden filled with late-flowering perennials. The garden is best seen from mid-summer and the double borders which, with ranks of tall hornbeam pyramids, frame the main lawn, are filled with unusual perennials and shrubs, many the result of David’s collaboration with Nick Macer, who has played a major role in the border planting, as well as being actively involved in the development, from 2014, of the arboretum. Where the garden merges into the countryside of the Vale of Pewsey, David has worked with Professor James Hitchmough of Sheffield University on the planting of a large, semi-circular, perennial meadow, incorporating bands predominantly of South African, Eurasian and North American plants.