The wonderful gardens at Eastleach House are well worth a visit . Keep a look out here, for details of open days.
Carol Klein and her BBC Gardeners’ World film crew thought so, as it starred on the show (Friday 20th September, on BBC 2), available on the iplayer if you missed it.
Here you can see some wonderful images of what treasure the garden has instore.
Eastleach House is a master-class in plantsmanship and inspirational colour theming as well as design.
Stephanie and her late husband, David, started with a blank canvas in the early 1980s. They were fortunate that the house stood high on the plateau that marks the end of the Cotswold scarp and the beginning of the Thames Valley. It was also aligned to the four compass points: this precise orientation has influenced the planting throughout the garden. On a clear day, you can see the Marlborough Downs some 30 miles away.
Designed to follow the natural contours of the land, the garden presents different and contrasting aspects, from the smooth lawns, to the avenue, parkland and arboretum. The main border, situated below a flight of stone steps, is visible from the house so is intended to display shrubs of interest throughout the year, coloured all shades of green and gold with silver and grey highlights.
It’s hard to believe that the luxuriant yew hedges that separate and screen the intimate garden spaces were only planted 20 years ago. Stephanie always planned to make a traditional English garden with yew and box: “Rosemary Verey was my inspiration. I read in one of her books that there was no reason to think that yew is slower than any other hedging plant. And it gave me the confidence to plant lots of screens and backdrops.”
The two most intensive parts, the rill garden and the walled garden, show the breadth of contrast between mood and colour. The walled garden is quiet and serene. A soothing fountain, warm blue seats, a summer house and a terrace surrounded by a planting scheme of softly subdued whites, pale pinks and baby blues invite you to linger.
The Rill Garden
TheRill Garden – This part of the garden was a rather mossy lawn until it was transformed in 1997. Curving paths edged with box now run from corner to corner crossing the central rill over a clapper bridge. The water falls over thirteen carved stone steps , each producing a different sound effect, down to a circular pond .
The Park, which lies due south of the house, covers about 10 acres and it was this long vista which inspired David Richards to design an avenue of Tilia platyphyllos rubra leading towards the distant view of the Marlborough Downs and the Liddington Clump on the skyline.
The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden was begun in 1987 with the re-building of most of the outer walls, the making of the pattern of paths, and the construction of the summerhouse and raised terrace. The yew hedges, took 8-10 years to reach the required height. To begin with the borders were mainly planted with ornamental shrubs, but a number of these have now been replaced with perennials. This part of the garden is meant to be soft and relaxing with pastel colours, contrasting with the vibrancy of the rill garden.
The South Lawn
As you pass through the oak door by the house you can see across the croquet lawn to wrought iron gates, decorated with a Clematis motif, which were installed to celebrate the new millennium in 2001.
Find out more at http://www.eastleachhouse.com/