Sunday 10 June 2012

Sandywell Barn House

Lupins are a rare sight on alkaline Cotswold soil, but flourish at Sandywell Barn House.

A view down the carefully designed but generously planted borders.
Continuing my belated exploration of local gardens, this morning I visited Sandywell Barn House, Whittington, where the garden was open today for the National Gardens Scheme. The Yellow Book entry says that it is a 'Plantaholic designer's own 2 1/2 acre walled garden. Maintained by owners [Shirley and Gordon Sills]. Exuberantly planted for form, scent and colour, featuring areas both traditional and contemporary.'   For once the description was accurate, with a great deal of interest and charm to see, and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Today was the last opening of the season, in their ninth successive year of opening - I shall remember the visit by a beautiful old bearded Iris cultivar kindly dug up for me by Mrs Sills.

Deliciously scented Rosa spinosissima cultivars are given prominence and were at their peak today.

Wisteria floribunda 'Alba'

A strikingly coloured Dutch Iris cultivar cunningly planted in rougher vegetation that hides its leaves.

The old Iris cultivar I begged a bit of: I like the pink pencilling on the falls. 
Another great Horse-chestnut grown for its foliage, Aesculus hippocastanum 'Aureomarginata'


  1. Malcolm Allison11 June 2012 at 21:09

    I had a piece of that iris from Mrs Sills last year, I suspect it might be a Kelways variety, maybe 'Langport Jester'

  2. Hi John, I enjoy your blog very much! Am wondering if the beautiful "Aureomarginata" Horse Chestnut shown above and grown for it's foliage is pollarded to keep it at eye level or is it allowed to grow as a full tree?

  3. Malcolm - I thought it is prob older than the Langports, an early selection perhaps?

    Mark - this was just a young tree so I don't know what is planned for it, but pollarding would be ideal. At low height it could be sprayed against leafminer too - though I can't say if they do.

  4. The Aesculus hippocastanum 'Aureomarginata' is stunning. Would this suffer from the problems affecting many of the typical Aesculus.

  5. John I went to Kelways yesterday and asked about Langport Jester, they said they had not seen it for some years.


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