Sunday, 5 July 2015

East Lambrook Manor


When we made our third garden in our previous home, we really caught the gardening bug! We read so many books and visited many gardens to learn the best way of combining plants, textures and colours.


Among the female garden designers we were inspired by were Rosemary Verey, Penelope Hobhouse, Beth Chatto and Margery Fish. We also visited the locations where they had spent many years gardening. East Lambrook Manor in Somerset was the home of Margery Fish. She wanted to create a garden that had continual seasonal interest throughout the whole year, in a variety of conditions where the maintenance was simple and the garden was dominated by cottage garden plants. Although she died in 1969 the legacy she left both in her garden and her books has lived on. Many cottage garden plants had fallen out of fashion and she managed to save many varieties of plants including geraniums, astrantias, lamiums and vincas, so we are still able to enjoy these plants in our gardens today.

Astrantia Major


The garden is full of little rooms that demonstrate the use of colour,height and ground cover. There are so many small details that it takes time to take it all in. We haven't visited here for many years but with creating a new garden and East Lambrook being closer we will become more frequent visitors.

In the silver garden 





 Plants for damp conditions - there is a stream in the midst of this planting! 



 The white barks of the silver birch are always eye catching.



An amazing mass of blue and purple including cat mint and salvias,


The pink flower is crucianella a perennial creeping herb that looks so good combined with pulmonaria and hellebores.


Many plants were planted in slightly raised beds that allow you to admire the plants at eye level.


Does anyone know the name of the plant in the bottom right-hand corner of the collage above? It's stalks reminded us of rosemary. I have been searching for it on the internet but have failed to find it!


This wonderful garden has a lovely nursery too with many unusual plants, so it would be extremely difficult to come away empty handed wouldn't it?

Are there any gardeners that have inspired you, in your garden too? Although I mentioned the women above we also picked up good ideas from Christopher Lloyd, Geoff Hamilton and Monty Don and in the last 10 years Sarah Raven has given us so many good plant recommendations that have stood the test of time.

Sarah x

38 comments:

  1. Gorgeous garden! and oh so many gardeners have inspired me - too many to name!

    Thank you for the visit!

    xo

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  2. Good morning, Sarah, what a lovely garden and house. When I first came to britain for a garden-tour with a group, I was overwalmed, never I had seen such beautiful gardens and plants. When I came home I baught books and read and write. Very inspired I am from Beth Chatto, the last grand dame of the gardens. She is such a nice person, so full of energie and power.
    But I can not say, that it was one Person. There where a lot of. And my perennial breader, I told me a lot and I learn from him since to this day. And friends, and and and.
    Sigrun

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  3. Lots of inspirational planting and flowers at East Lambrook for you to emulate - we were fortunate to received some personal advice from Rosemary Verey when we moved to our Cotswold garden 20 years ago for which we shall always be grateful. It is sad that when she died her son sold her lovely Barnsley House and garden - it is now a hotel.

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    1. I'm glad we managed to visit Rosemary' s garden while she was living there. It must have been wonderful to be have been given such personal advice for your garden. Sarah x

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  4. What beautiful photos. The art of garden design is wonderful isn't it, and so very clever getting the right combination of colours and textures. I'm not familiar with your mystery plant, but I wonder if it is a type of sedum. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion, the leaves don't look like a scdum. I think we will have to go back and find out! Sarah x

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  5. What a delightful garden x

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  6. I always used to try and wrangle a quick visit to East Lambrook en route to the West Country on holiday. Fortunately the then owners used to do the best lunches and teas so I didn't have to be too persuasive. I adore Margery Fish's planting style and her books which are informative and hilarious. I haven't been for a few years now, I know the new owners don't open the garden as frequently but your post has made me want to visit again, so thanks. Not sure what your mystery plant is. Was it growing in an alpine-plant situation. The leaves and flowers suggest it could survive on rocky outcrops?

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    1. It was growing in one of the raised borders near the silver garden. It looked as if it could survive tough conditions so would be a good candidate for a windy sea garden! Hope you visit the garden we are so spoilt for choice in the UK. Sarah x

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  7. What a wonderful garden! I've never had my own garden (hopefully I will one day) so I've never been able to get into gardening but I'm not all that interested in it to be honest - I like things a bit wild so my idea of gardening is scattering wildflower seeds and letting everything grow!

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  8. I've not been on blogger for sometime and have lots of catch up to do. Have missed your beautiful photographs and posts. I love the ideas in this one, just wish I had a garden big enough to have different sections. The silver plants are so lovely. I get inspired by many cottage gardens locally, here in Wiltshire, and then must try to fit in ideas to our tiny garden.

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  9. AHHHH....Sarah, there is nothing like summer, is it....and by the sea. You have the best of both worlds, and texture INDEED! These flowers are brimming with such happy life and now at my age (57), I am finally understanding more about flowers and how much joy they can give us. Thank you for always spraying your posts with a mist from the seaside. Hugs to you and Tavi! Anita

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  10. One of my favourite gardening books is Margery Fish's We Made a Garden. It describes the making of East Lambrook Manor and her planting ideas, but it is also very amusing about her gardening relationship with her husband Walter (who had been the editor of the Daily Mail).

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    1. I must have read one of her other books. I must see if I can find this one! Homespun above mentioned how amusing it was too! Sarah x

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  11. That really does look lovely, right up my street. And not so far from me either as it happens, I shall go.

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    1. You should go there are a few other good gardens close by - Tintinhull and Hestercombe. I am certain you wouldn't come away empty handed either! Sarah x

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  12. Thank you for the lovely tour of that garden, Sarah. You are so lucky to live in a place that has gardens like that to offer inspiration. :-)

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  13. I've not been to East Lambrook, so thank you for the insight. It looks like a very inspiring garden. Lovely plants. I like the look of that crucianella - we need ground cover here! I agree with CJ and wonder whether the mystery plant is a sedum. Or possibly an achillea? But the leaves aren't right for either really. Do let us know if you find out what it is. I love all the gardeners you've mentioned, especially Christopher Lloyd, but also Piet Oudolf, Dan Pearson and Tom Stuart-Smith. Sam x

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    1. How could I have forgotten Piet and Dan! We have been so influenced by them over the years too. Thank you for reminding me. I am only familiar with Tom's gardens at Chelsea, so will have to look further at his work. Sarah x

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  14. Don't think there is anything prettier than an English garden.

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  15. That garden is absolutely beautiful. I love all the pinks and purples there, especially against the stone structures. It has a cool and soft look. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. I can never see too many English gardens! That mystery plant is a mystery to me, too. Even if a particular garden doesn't inspire me to plant a certain plant, at the very least it inspires me to tidy mine up!

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  17. While I don't have any suggestions to pass along, Sarah, thanks for the names you shared. We are surrounded by many lush commercial nurseries, but are still struggling to find the right combination of plants that will create the lovely English cottage gardens I would like here on our plot near Portland, Oregon. [We seem adept at cultivating weeds, however :) ] Happy gardening! xx

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  18. Oh Sarah, it is so beautiful, especially that riot of blue and purple!x

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  19. That first photo ... what a lovely pink.
    Great to read and look at all your article. I especially like the Astrantia Major too.

    That mystery plant as CJ says it could be a sedum, it's very attractive whatever it is.

    All the best Jan

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  20. So many inspiring women gardeners (I do think the women have the edge over the men..). I too met Rosemary Verey - she was charming, and Beth Chatto remains my favourite. I am reading the book of letters between her and Christopher Lloyd just now - such encyclopaedic knowledge between them!

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    1. That's a good book too which I haven't read for years. Sarah x

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  21. My idea of a dream house and garden, how lovely they are. Beautiful pictures xxxx

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  22. Such a beautiful garden Sarah! It's the sort of garden that I enjoy visiting too. Christopher Lloyd and Vita Sackville West are my source of inspiration.

    Madelief x

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  23. Wow such a beautiful garden and such a source for inspiratation! It's great to be able to visit old established gardens and draw from their experience and knowledge. And how could you come home empty handed?!?!

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  24. Lovely photos of the gardens Sarah! You would also enjoy visiting Charleston Farmhouse, the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant! Love days out like these! Hope you enjoy the week. Sharon

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  25. In an English country garden.........what could be more delightful !
    I miss them so.....
    Thank you for sharing it's beauty.
    ~Jo

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  26. What a beautiful garden to visit, Sarah - it's lovely to read about and see your photos. I'd forgotten about Margery Fish but will be more aware of her work now. I have no idea what your mystery plant is - I hope you'll let us know when you find out, looks beautiful and would be a good addition to the garden. With needle-like leaves, it's definitely going to be one for the dry garden! Caro x

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  27. I love the look of the flowers against the old bricked house. Gorgeous garden.
    Amalia
    xo

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  28. Wow, what a lovely house and the garden, love it! So english and beautiful...
    Have a great evening!
    Titti

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  29. Not a garden I know, but definitely one to try and visit, it's gorgeous. Thank you for taking us with you Sarah :o)

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