Thursday 3 June 2021
Little Malvern Court
Mrs Alexandra Berington
This lovely ten-acre garden around the 14th century Benedictine prior’s house stands above the Severn Valley with views across to the distant Cotswold Hills. It is divided into two parts; the formal garden immediately around the house was designed by Arabella Lennox-Boyd and Michael Balston. Here yew hedges surround borders awash with roses and perennials. A white corridor with Philadelphus and a central rose-covered arch leads to a lawn bounded by pleached limes. In front of the house, another lawn, flanked by espaliered pears, leads down to the second part of the garden, the magnificent informal gardens created around the chain of five monastic ponds. These are now planted with wonderful trees which include cedars, grown from seed brought back from the Holy Land, Magnolias, Koelreuteria and some spectacular Pterocaryas overhanging the water of one of the lower ponds.
Bridges Stone Mill
Sir Michael and Lady Perry
Water is a pervading theme throughout this two-and-a-half-acre garden beside Leigh Brook, which the Perrys have been gardening since 1980. The Mill stands at the end of its alder-lined leat, while the brook embraces the whole garden under a sheltering steep wooded bank, now a nature reserve. A lawn leads past colourful mixed borders and fine trees planted by the Perrys, towards the vegetable garden, now largely planted with roses. Further into the garden a magnificent weeping willow marks a sharp turn of the brook. A cascade, contrasting with the serenity of the ancient mill leat, is crossed by a stone bridge and flows past clumps of Hosta, Gunnera and Astilbe into a large water-lily pond fringed with generous marginal planting. The Japanese Garden beside the house, and at the end of the mill leat is a new feature in the garden, created by Japanese designer Takashi Sawano, long resident in Britain, it subtly incorporates Japanese structures and pruning into this most English of landscapes.
Mr and Mrs Mark Archer
Perrycroft is an Arts and Crafts house high on the western flank of the Malvern Hills, built for John Wilson MP by Charles Voysey in 1893. Wilson acquired 80 acres and Voysey almost certainly determined the position of the house with its perfect view south towards Herefordshire Beacon. Voysey designed the house to blend seamlessly with the garden, with benches positioned against the house to take advantage of the views over Herefordshire into Wales. The garden, to the west of the house, drops away to the formal walled garden and summer house. Some twenty years ago Gillian and Mark Archer bought Perrycroft, which was then in a very poor state, and have extensively restored both house and garden. Yew trees have been returned to their original shape as hedges and the formal gardens have been replanted with yew topiary, box hedges and perennials. Beyond the formal gardens, the woodland garden, inspired by William Robinson, the 19th century owner of Gravetye Manor in Sussex, is planted with spring bulbs and wild flowers among Philadelphus, Deutzias and other flowering shrubs.
Meet at Little Malvern Court. Lunch at Bridges Stone Mill