To the south-east of the house lies the Formal Garden which is surrounded by one of Miss Jekyll’s favourite natural frames, yew hedging. The style here is more structured and disciplined than the Wild Garden, and its season, which depends largely on herbaceous perennials, is shorter.A pergola, festooned with climbing plants, runs from the house to over-look the Rose garden, the Bowling and Tennis Lawns. The planting on the pergola is varied and interesting. On the ten stout oak posts Miss Jekyll planted roses, aristolochia, jasmine and virginia creeper. This planting makes the pergola a fine and important feature in the garden for an unusually long period. Rosa Jersey Beauty and the jasmine hold a few leaves throughout the winter. Throughout the summer roses and aristolochia take turns in producing flower and foliage, and from autumn until the frosts of winter, virginia creeper displays glorious crimson and purple foliage.
The drops in levels to the Rose garden, Bowling and Tennis lawns are supported by dry-stone walls which Miss Jekyll planted to give the effect of vertical flower-beds; those plants fill the areas with colour from late February onwards. As summer commences the colours spread to the Rose garden. Here peonies, roses, and lilies fill the area with colour and scent in a breath-taking combination. Towards the end of summer the two main herbaceous borders take on the spectacular display. Miss Jekyll’s plans include simple cottage garden flowers, hollyhocks, delphinium, phlox, poppies, campanula and much else, their colours running in drifts from cool whites, blues and yellows at either end to orange and fiery reds in the centres. She was careful to use plants that would fill the space of an earlier flowering plant as the season draws to a close. Dahlias and helianthus can be bent over a dying oriental poppy, and Gypsophila paniculata also fills empty spaces with a fine white froth of flowers. These borders continue to provide a glorious display until late autumn. Other borders in this area are planted with shrubs and structural plants which give valuable winter shape to the garden. Yucca, rosemary, lavender, fuchsia, acanthus, olearia and roses are used, and the planting of bergenia is a year round delight.
The Wild Garden
Gertrude Jekyll laid out a varied and interesting garden that gives examples of a wide spectrum of her prodigious talents. To the West of the house lies Jekyll’s only surviving and faithfully restored Wild garden. It is traversed by mown grass paths which meander through longer grass, rambling roses, shrubs, bamboo and a small copse of Walnut trees. These paths lead towards the pond which is surrounded by rocks and planted with indigenous and water-loving plants.
The Kitchen Garden
To the South west of the Formal garden beyond the yew hedging, lies the Kitchen garden. Here we hold mainly Jekyll plants for propagation and replacing in the main borders when necessary. It is beautiful in its season as it blazes with the colour of simple herbaceous plants, but it is not art and out of season it has little to offer. A small area holds herbs, vegetable and fruit!