Conderton Manor, Conderton, Tewkesbury
Mr and Mrs William Carr
Conderton Manor dates from 1675 and formed part of the neighbouring Overbury Estate. In the 1930s Brenda Colvin designed the formal terrace behind the house. With the exception of some of the larger trees, particularly the magnificent cedar which dates from 1880, the tree planting started in the 1950s when the garden was extended. The Carrs took over in 1970 and continued to plant trees which have now reached maturity. From the terrace, steps lead up to the vegetable garden, now planted ornamentally. At this point the garden becomes, as Jane Carr describes it, “a walk among trees” and good trees there are, including a well-established Pterocarya fraxinifolia. The walk culminates in an informal grass terrace with long views of the Cotswold escarpment and the Severn valley.
Birtsmorton Court, Nr Malvern
Mr and Mrs Nigel Dawes
Birtsmorton is a medieval dream of a house. Sitting in a wide moat, the house, built round a courtyard filled with pots, is, in fact, a wonderful mixture of styles dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries, giving a very mellow sense of continuity. A terrace outside the great hall is generously planted with Salvias, Nepeta and Erysimum. In the garden, the large Westminster Pond supplies water to the moats. Clipped yew hedges conceal the white garden, designed by Veronica Cross, which is centred on a large old lead cistern. Outside the yew hedges, sheltered by walls on two sides, are sumptuous mixed borders awash with roses, tree peonies, Geraniums and Hemerocallis. Behind this is a potager with tunnels planted with Vitis purpurea trained amongst silver Pyrus salicifolia.
Morton Hall, Redditch
Mr and Mrs Rene Olivieri
The fritilliaries growing in the wildflower meadow were the clincher for Anne Olivieri when she first saw Morton Hall in 2007. However, the garden around this handsome 18th century house which looks out over the Vale of Evesham towards Wales, required much work; trees were thinned, overpowering laurel hedges reduced or removed, the drive moved and ground subtly re-landscaped. The result, in an astonishingly short time, is a journey through a series of discrete, but interlocking, spaces. From the meadow, where fritillaries have been joined by mass plantings of Narcissus, the path leads past a tea house into a sunken Japanese garden. Monumental rock steps lead to the south garden planted in blues and pinks and from there to the walled kitchen garden, where vegetables and perennials are planted in hot colours to reflect the passage of the sun.