Friday, 24 July 2009

NGS Noel Road

If you like a garden with quirky features, then this one is for you.
Inspired by his travels abroad and especially Rome, Ivor Pond has designed his garden around a theme, concentrating on artifacts collected from his travels and using plants as a foil to these rather then the plants being the stars.

The garden is 100ft x 30ft with narrow walkways either side of the garden and a water feature in the middle containing a stone crocodile and other kitch items.
At the top of the garden is a Roman Temple with a mural painted on the wall, inspired by the view from a resturant Ivor had visited on a trip to Naples.
Although one wouldn't normally see an English church window, on a Roman Temple, this window which was salvaged from a methodist church nearby, fits in very nicely and looks quite at home.

Taking  pride of the place at the front of the garden are two large statues which Ivor collected on his travels. Firstly a terracota warrior from Xiam in China and a marble statue from Ankorwat in Cambodia called Soray.
There were a couple of images which were made magical by the dappled sunlight through the foilage, and that was a head of Buddah and a pink Hydranga.

I liked this garden, not for its artifacts, or its quirkiness but for its owner Ivor. I don't think I have ever seen anyone take so much pleasure in telling people about their garden. It's so personal to him, with the memories it evokes for him, that none of its visitors can ever see the beauty that he sees in his garden.

                                                                          Ivor Pond

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

NGS Wimborne Road

The latest garden in my project for the NGS, was at Wimborne Road in Bournemouth. Quite local to me and a house I had passed many times as I used to live over the road.

That's the amazing thing about these suburban gardens, you can pass them everyday, without knowing what gems lie behind the garden gate and this was an absolute gem.

What caught my eye firstly was that the woodwork on the house and in the garden, was the shade of green which I had wanted to paint my garage but had turned out to be a lot lighter than I had hoped. When I mentioned this to Mrs Cleall, the garden owner, she found out the colour she had used and wrote it down for me.

I had to attend this garden without my trusty assistant Andy, as he had to work but the sun was kind enough to pop behind the clouds for brief moments whilst I took the plant portraits and then would reappear, bleaching out the colours in the garden, just as I had composed my shot of the garden!

The garden is 120ft x 50ft with a lovely rustic pergola across the width of the garden, dividing the first 3rd of the garden. This is covered in sweet peas, roses and a gorgeous smelling Trachelospermum jasminoides.

Rustic Arch

Sweet Peas
Roses on the pergola

The garden has lots of lovely beds packed full of plants but more than that the garden has lots of interesting areas which draw your eye around it.
I love the colours of the plants in this border against the green of the shed

A pond nestling amongst the plants
Looking towards the bottom of the garden from the rustic pergola
A little bridge over the man-made stream
Geese on guard
This is the first time this garden has been open on a Saturday and Sue was concerned that turnout wouldn't be as good as a Sunday but she needn't have worried because plenty of people came to visit. It was a real family affair, with her son and his family taking the entrance fee at the gate. And of course you can't forget the friends who very kindly baked the delicious cakes and served the teas. Opening your garden for the NGS is a real team effort and probably not without its stress!
This cake was delicious as it looks
I absolutely loved this garden, not only for its loveliness but also the people who own and visited the garden. It had a lovely atmosphere to it and as I listened into peoples conversations, whilst I photographed the plants, everyone around me was enjoying and appreciating the garden also.
Lovely Lavander
Tanacetum Parthenium
Sue and Mike Cleall
Sue's garden has finished opening for this season, so she and her husband Mike can sit back and enjoy it all to themselves. Well perhaps not sit back, us gardeners are not very good at just sitting back, there are always plants to prune or tweak to perfection and always plans for next year to jot down. This is another garden to make a note about for next years openings.
I have a busy gardening weekend ahead of me. I am off to the RHS garden show at Hampton Court tomorrow. I have never been on a Saturday before and as previous visits have been during the week and the traffic was horrendous then, it's going to be an early start tomorrow. And then Sunday I am off to photograph another NGS garden at Noel Road in Bournemouth. This sounds very interesting with a Roman Temple at the end of the garden - most intriguing!


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