The Tennis & Bowling Lawns 1984 & 1998
few of Jekyll's original plants had survived the century. In the Wild Garden
we found daffodils and some trees. In the Formal Garden to the East of the house
we found Fuchsia Riccartonii, Acanthus spinosus, Corydalis ochroleuca, Hemerocallis
fulva, paeonies and Hartstongue ferns. In May 1984, copies of the original plans
arrived from the Reef Point Collection in California, where most surviving Jekylliana
is held; they are dated 1908 and 1909. Work on clearing incorrect trees, weeds
and digging out trenches for yew hedges began immediately. We sterilised and
cleared the soil, then stripped away grass/moss surfaces in the formal garden
before double digging and feeding with well rotted manure.
and seeds were ordered for 1985 delivery. Wherever possible we grew plants from
seed. It is an accurate and cheap way of starting a garden. Plants with bulbs
and corms were ordered, as were all shrubs, roses and the yew plants for hedging.
Generally it was surprisingly easy to find Gertrude Jekyll's chosen plants and,
if she specified only species, we referred to old garden books for her favourite
cultivars. Gertrude Jekyll admired plants more for their collective effect in
the border than for their rarity or individual beauty.
search for plants was made easier by reference to the 'Plant Finder'. We have
had tremendous support and encouragement from Hampshire Gardens Trust, Hampshire
County Council, Penelope Hobhouse, Richard Bisgrove and other friends. Television,
a great many newspapers, magazines, some books and radio have covered our progress
from dereliction to today's restored garden. Progress has been methodical and
fairly slow; the garden is still not completely mature and trees are certainly
not fully grown, but we hope visitors enjoy this living museum of Gertrude Jekyll's
plants and design.
mouseover the photos
Entrance to the The Wild Garden
1984 & 1998
In 1984 we moved to the almost
derelict house and garden at Upton Grey. All had been sadly neglected. We found
46 burst water pipes in the house and the garden was over-run with weeds and
brambles. But luckily, through neglect, no constructive damage had been done,
no swimming pool or hard tennis court built. The dry stone walls had collapsed
but their Purbeck stones were still there, as were gentle shallow steps, so
typical of Gertrude Jekyll's eye for proportion.
"The love of gardening is a seed that
once sown never dies, but grows to the enduring happiness that the love of