|The Pierrepoint Morgan Rose Garden at The Laskett, drawn by Guy Combes on his iPad.|
|The Pierrepoint Morgan Rose Garden, viewed from the opposite direction.|
I bunked-off from the horror of packing today to join my artist friends Guy Combes and Andrew Denman in a visit to Sir Roy Strong's garden at The Laskett in Herefordshire, kindly arranged by Jonathan Myles-Lea. Jonathan, in addition to his painting and poetry, is responsible for the attractive and informative website for the Laskett Gardens.
The garden was started in 1973 by Sir Roy and his late wife Dr Julia Trevelyan Oman on a field surrounding the Victorian house. It has evolved continuously and has earned itself a place in the pantheon of contemporary British gardens. Unlike most, however, it is deliberately and effortfully a formal garden, relying on strong shape from (especially) hedges, topiary and hard landcaping, with a selection of statuary and other ornaments. It's the garden of a would-be Renaissance prince, built on a budget, and often celebrating the achievements and interests of its creators; the result is a uniquely whimsical confection.
|Splendidly and stiffly formal - the Elizabeth Tudor Walk, with tiers of hedges.|
|Variation in colour and texture from the hedges - pleached lime, undulating beech, tight-clipped yew with holly standards, and yew columns.|
|Though there are some nicely planted areas, as here in the 'Serpentine', in general the 'soft' planting does not live up to the strength of the design.|
|The view to the Victoria & Albert MuseumTemple.|
|Sempervivum in an urn in the Silver Jubilee Garden.|