Monday, 18 May 2015

Azaleas, Peonies and Blue Poppies

This is a personal record of our visit to Borde Hill Garden, Haywards Heath
 in the High Weald of Sussex.
 There had been rain all morning but the sunshine came just in time for our visit. Towards the end of the afternoon there was a cutting wind coming from across the fields.
We were lucky enough to visit with our friends Nick and Sally. 
Nick is a voluntary guide at Borde Hill so we had an individual guided tour.
Right at the beginning of the visit we had the privilege of seeing Andy Stevens, the head gardener, hard at work replacing old wooden rose pillars with his new design in metal. They were called corset pillars and he told us that climbing roses should be spiralled round to encourage flowers. Square pillars did not work so well and were, anyway rotting. 
Later we saw him carting the rotten wood away.
It`s not a wonderful picture but you can just see the shape of this one waiting to be placed.
There were many sculptures around the gardens, some of which we agreed should be kept in the garden and this was one of them. It was placed in the middle of the rose garden which was ready to burst into flower.
We also peeped into the Victorian greenhouses, an enticing glimpse into the past.
In 1997  the garden received a Heritage Lottery grant for their restoration.

We also wondered where this door led to!

The tree peonies were stunning.
Next we came across the bleeding heart plants and this rather beautiful piece of work.

A rather unusual periwinkle was growing profusely at the base of the shrubs.


 The house was set well back across the lawns, bordered by magnificent oaks in all their spring glory.

We then came to the Italian garden with its dark pool reflecting the blue sky.
In the Round Dell we saw ligularia, towering gunnera and bright pink candelabra primulas as well as a range of bamboo.

A roped off set of wonky steps ......

.......and a most unusual plant with strange leaf markings.

On arrival at the Potting Sheds I had the distinct feeling of familiarity, 
as if I knew this place already.
I don`t.

Herb Robert was growing in the walls here, along with many other plants and mosses.
As we wandered through the Garden of Allah, we were treated to the most tantalizing vistas of the countryside beyond, as well as the wafting scents from the champion magnolia which Nick suggested smelt like germolene. I agreed,
Quite soon after that we were treated to the most astonishing sight of blue poppies which I have often tried to grow.
They made me gasp out loud.

The Azalea Ring faced us across the lawns, with the most glorious array
 of colour and in some cases perfume..

Some of the metal sculptures did not appeal to me but this one was clever, using what appeared to be old supermarket trolleys......inorganic to the organic.
At the tiny nursery I treated myself to a geranium "Gravetye" as a pleasant reminder of a lovely afternoon in good company, the sunshine and with a promise to myself that 
I will be back.

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