The Back Lawn
|Immediately behind the house is the Back Lawn. This is an area
of fine turf bounded to the east and west by borders, and separated
from the next area, the Orchard, by the Long Pool. Two large
trees etch their character on this part of the garden. On the
western boundary stands a massive wild cherry; to the east,
in the adjoining property, grows a large English oak. Not yet
fully mature, this fine tree dominates the views out of the
garden. These two well established woodland trees together with
ivy clad boundary walls, the shadows cast by the house and the
judicious positioning of large shrubs, lend this area the feel
of a large, cool forest glade.
The lawn was established as a mixture of fine grasses –
browntop bent (Agrostis tenuis) and the finer fescues (Festuca
rubra commutata and littoralis). The area suffers from ‘panning’
(sub-surface compaction) and over the years the resultant restricted
root zone has encouraged the encroachment of weed grasses, clovers
and those broad-leaved turf weeds that thrive in compacted swards.
On its eastern edge, the lawn is crossed by a path of large
pre-cast concrete stepping stones running from the conservatory
to the eastern end of the Long Pool.
|On the western side, the Cherry Tree Border affords ideal conditions
for moisture loving, shade tolerant, plants: Bergenia cordifolia
in the early spring is followed by Pulmonaria Mawsons Variety
then hardy geraniums in four varieties and Astrantia major in
High summer sees Lysimachia clethroides, Calamagrostis
and lace-cap hydrangeas and as summer fades drifts of Anemone
Honorine Joubert brighten the border.
As the cherry leaves begin
to colour, a large clumps of the late flowering Aster lateriflorus
Horizontalis and Liriope muscari add a last touch of summer
to the autumnal scene. Even in winter, the border still has
interest. Winter box (Sarcoccoca) scents the January air and
in February Crocus tommasinianus and Lenten roses (Helleborus
hybrida) herald the new growing season.
To the east, the Summer Border is crammed with a mix of scarlet
Crocosmia, sky blue Aster frikartii and the darker blue of Agapanthus.
Earlier in the year, well established clumps of the winter flowering
Iris unguicularis send up their large, fragile flowers in the
shelter at the foot of the boundary wall. This border also boasts
a tall Camellia japonica and a newly planted, but already well
established, Magnolia Heaven Scent. Other plants of note include
the winter flowering Jasminum nudiflorum and Chimonanthes praecox
(winter sweet), the spring flowering Viburnum x burkwoodii,
the summer flowering passionflower and, for autumn colour, Cotinus
Grace and Itea verginica.