Monday, 10 August 2009

NGS - Cottesmore Farm

This was the first rainy NGS garden I have visited. It was only drizzle and that was intermittent, so it didn't spoil the enjoyment of this truly wonderful garden.
The owner Paul Guppy had once worked at Compton Acres in Poole and that definitely shows in the layout and the planting of the garden. He is a real plantsman with an extensive knowledge of all things horticultural.
One of the long borders full of perennials, bamboos and palms
When Mr and Mrs Guppy moved to Cottesmore Farm, ten years ago, the field in front of the house, which is now a garden with winding paths and full of wonderful plants, was just an empty blank canvas for them to transform to a luscious, tropical garden. They put in the trees first to act as a wind break and then planted the Trachycarpus, which you can see dotted about the garden. Mr Guppy grew these from seed and it's quite remarkable how mature these look together with the rest of the garden, in such a short space of time. His secret it seems is tonnes of fish blood and bone each spring and I think that's a tip I shall use, albeit on a smaller scale.
Crocosmia Lucifer a star of the garden border this time of year
Not only did I love the planting in this garden but it was also full of plants with amazing texture and form.
I have a passion for Gunneras, so when I spotted one at the end of a long border, I made a beeline for it.
Gunneras are so prehistoric looking, with their enormous leaves and thorny stems
I love the colour and texture of the bamboo
To the side of the tropical and perennial borders is a wild flower meadow, which on a sunny day is full of butterflies.
Wild Flower Meadow
Perennial Sweetpea
After leaving the wild flower meadow you cross a small tarmac path which runs to the side of their bungalow.
The garden which surrounds the bungalow, is full of the most lovely perennial plants and shrubs. The garden is bordered by a black metal estate fencing with a 5 bar gate which really sets off the planting beautifully.
Pink Phlox
This garden is full of wonderful and unusual plants. Mr Guppy is a very knowledgeable plantsman and was always happy to answer questions regarding his plants and his passion for gardening really shone through.
Paul and Valerie Guppy
Cottesmore Farm is definately one for the diary next year.
I have one more garden to photograph, which I am really looking forward to, as it's owned by a couple who are Royal Acadamy artists.

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