Monday 7 June 2021
Rectory House, Kedleston
Helene, Viscountess Scarsdale
The handsome, red-brick rectory at Kedleston, standing on the edge of the park, may have been designed by Samuel Wyatt, clerk of works at that time to Robert Adam, who was rebuilding the big house at Kedleston for Nathaniel Curzon, the first Lord Scarsdale. It is possible that Adam himself designed the elegant south façade with its gently-recessed arch. Some of the planting dates from this period, but the present, delightfully informal, woodland garden is the work of the present incumbent, Helene Scarsdale. An open lawn has a Cumbrian slate sphere as a focal point and leads on into the woodland garden, planted with Rhododendrons and Azaleas for the spring, followed by roses and other flowering shrubs. The edges of a large pond, in the centre are softened with Primulas, Gunnera and Darmera.
Culland Hall, Ashbourne
Mr and Mrs Simon Thompson
The four-acre garden at Culland Hall is almost entirely the creation of Lucy Thompson, who has created it around the comfortable late 1930s house, built by her father-in-law on the site of an earlier house. The view across a shallow valley with lake and woodlands is perfect and the garden steps down from the house in terraces so nothing is obscured. Borders are filled with long-flowering perennials and balanced by the strong structure of box and yew hedging and lovely old garden buildings, contemporary with the earlier house. Vistas urge one from one delightful space to another: a box-hedged rose garden, double borders with great billowing masses of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, a woodland and fern garden and a long rose pergola in the kitchen garden underplanted by peonies.
Bluebell Nursery and Arboretum, Ashby de la Zouch
Bluebell Nursery is an exceptional family-run nursery with a very tempting array of interesting and desirable plants, which include trees and shrubs, as well as perennials, climbers and ferns. It also has a nine-acre arboretum, containing an extensive collection of trees and shrubs, informatively and helpfully labelled. This was started in 1992 and so it is interesting to see how fast trees and shrubs will grow and a walk through the arboretum to see the potential size and habit of a plant before buying is useful as well as a pleasure.
Meet at Rectory House, Kedleston. Lunch at Culland Hall