Secret gardens are always amazing to discover. If secret gardens are in England they become magical adventures. Barbara Segall has written a wonderful book, Secret Gardens of East Anglia – A Private Tour of 22 Gardens. This book was beautifully and lovingly photographed by Marcus Harpur. With a foreword written by Beth Chatto, the English garden enthusiast realizes this book will be a treat to enjoy.
Beth Chatto refers to the curators as ‘garden artists’. The people who have created East Anglia gardens had to realize the challenges of the area. With climate, space, and other limitations, beautiful gardens were created. The owners of these secret gardens, want to inspire others to create beauty in their own green space.
SECRET ESTATE GARDENS
To achieve the secret garden feel, one of the landowners had to learn how to manage a windy site. By creating shelter belts, carefully curated areas to garden passionately became a reality. Gardens rooms that focused on a certain style of landscaping were created. Two different personalities invested time, effort, and a lot of love to create quite the garden. The pictures of East Ruston Old Vicarage speak volumes!
I have recurring dreams of creating deep floral borders. Helmingham Hall has deep borders that are quite exquisite. Researching styles, creating plant combinations, and incorporating abundant color was executed very well by Lady Tollemache. Better known as Xa, this homeowner is now a seasoned garden designer who is familiar with creating secret gardens that pop!
A SECRET TERRACE GARDEN
What is the main ingredient of a secret terrace garden? Walls. High walls that embrace whatever is behind them. Every English inspired garden does not have to be an Estate.
In this example, a terrace became a secret garden. The residents had a track record of creatively designing properties from London, Italy, and now Cambridge. A voluptuous secret garden is artfully curated in less space. These gentlemen used colors that allow the plants to be the focal point. The hardscaping is not overwhelming, simply beautifully present. Subtly painted columns creatively hide garden necessities. The glass doors invite the garden to be an integral part of the day.
A pool, voluptuous pots overflowing with color and hardscaping mimicking Spain with a Moroccan feel…I can only say AH-MAZING!! This garden has the wow factor of a small scale estate. In this secret garden, size truly does not matter!
A SECRET BEYOND THE MEADOW
Imagine finding a 500-year-old farmhouse, a parcel of land, and no garden. After renovating the house, the next task was to create a meadow. A meadow is merely the gateway to creating more gardens. Adding pathways to define the space, Emily Shelley curated a secret front yard garden. Her philosophy consists of two words – random and relaxed. By allowing the plants to chart their course, the front yard garden is amazing! With silver foliage, shades of purple, and accents of pink, this garden speaks to me.
There are more gardens in this book. Barbara Segall and her team did a fabulous job. I did not even mention Wyken Hall or the other bodacious gardens. Barbara also graciously provided a list of open garden information in this book. The possibility of visiting on Open Garden dates is an added value to the reader.
Barbara, you have made my armchair trip quite the adventure. I want to experience the garden’s first hand. I recommend this book to the avid gardener who loves to dream.
Clicking my heels three times as I wish I was in the garden at Hoveton Hall…
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby