Maslens Farm, Alton Barnes
Mr and Mrs Michael Balston
It is interesting to see what garden designers do in their own garden. Michael and Meriel Balston had a large garden which they swapped six years ago for this one closer to the Marlborough Downs. The enchanting 15th century farmhouse with additions is surrounded by a walled garden which, though comparatively small, packs quite a punch. On one side of a pleached lime allée a box parterre, due to be replanted with Teucrium lucidum this winter, shares the space with a shrub-fringed lawn with steps leading to a raised terrace. On the other, there is a large circular pool in planted paving. Behind the house, a sunken garden leads to Meriel’s studio and beyond that a small vegetable garden. This is a garden where strong structural elements are combined with interesting planting as you would expect from a vice-president of the RHS.
Redenham Park, Andover
Redenham Park, built in 1784, has been Olivia Clark’s home since 1976. The world is kept at bay by a deep screen of trees and beyond lies a wide bowl of parkland with the house at its heart. The garden, designed by Olivia Clark, sits discreetly behind the house and is, in high summer, an abundance of roses and perennials. The rose garden is planted with pink and white-flowered roses with a foam of Alchemilla in the paving. An arch, covered with Paul’s Himalayan Musk, leads through to the main late-summer borders. After a calm green interlude of pleached limes and a croquet lawn with a tapestry hedge, a door in a cob wall opens onto a series of gardens with espaliered pears and apples and a mass of scented roses, culminating in the immaculate kitchen garden.
Broadleas House, Devices
Mr and Mrs Richard Cardiff
Broadleas House, then a neglected wilderness, was bought by Lady Anne Cowdray in 1946. She gardened here for 63 years until her death in 2009. Fortunately, Mr and Mrs Cardiff, have maintained the best of Anne Cowdray’s magnificent garden while adding their own contemporary contributions. A long terrace, where shrubs and perennials sprawl comfortably across the gravel, leads past an enclosed garden, in which Salvia involucrata ‘Bethellii’ flourishes with little winter protection. The Bannermans have added a thatched garden house near a Camellia-hedged secret garden. Pleached hornbeam and yews screen a vegetable garden en route to a new bee-friendly garden. The most spectacular feature of the garden is the four-acre combe lying below the house. Here, among ancient oaks, Anne Cowdray planted Magnolias, Camellias, Rhododendrons and Hydrangeas, as well as wonderful Cornus, Acers and Paulownias. This long was, and still is, a wonderful garden.