About the Garden
In 1996, we bought a derelict barn with the roof collapsing. My architect husband, Peter Clegg, made it into a light and airy house with a wall of Streptocarpus instead of curtains. We would not want any more between us and the fantastic view.
We are on a steep hill at the top of an idyllic valley, but the house was surrounded by muddy fields. I was busy moving the nursery and had no time to make a garden. Peter had never made a garden before, but he designed and built a garden here on several levels with graceful flowing curves. I planted it with my favourite things.
We have heavy clay soil. Most plants thrive, but I love Mediterranean plants and I knew they would hate it, so the first thing I did was make a gravel garden. The plants loved it and so did I, so we made a second gravel garden.
We have springs so there are ponds with trickling water between and a bog garden.
In 1999 I did an exhibit at Chelsea, called "What's Black and White and Red Only Occasionally?" When I came back I planted a new black and white border (perhaps purple and silver would be more accurate).
Some years later Peter planted the 'Empty Quarter' - a circle of beech trees around plain gravel, then a vegetable garden and an orchard with a Miscanthus hedge between lawn and field, grass dividing grass from grass.
We made a woodland walk through the scrubby woods down one side of the garden with a magic carpet bridge that ripples up and over a tiny stream. We lost several trees this winter so it may be less of a woodland this summer. Nothing stays the same
Peter's Shapes in the Landscape, sculpted hedging, a mystery to me when he started, is the crowning glory of the garden. But he cannot stop. Now he is sculpting the surrounding fields with the help of our friendly digger driver
Over time the garden has grown and bloomed beyond our wildest expectations.
The garden will be open on Wednesdays from 14 April. No booking necessary. £5 on the day.
Derry will lead a small tour of the garden every Tuesday at 11. £15, must be booked and paid for in advance.
NGS Garden Open Days 2021 -
Third Thursdays: 17 June, 15 July, 19 August, 16 September and 21 October.
Special Tuesdays cancelled for the duration
Extra garden open days with a short practical talk on what's happening in the garden week by week. You can watch the garden changing through the year or just come once for a subject you are interested in. Follow Derry walking round the garden as she talks about the plants she loves, about how she copes with specific problems, and what jobs she is doing at each time of year. Be inspired to go home and make the most of your garden.
Talks are at 11am.
No need to book unless group of 6 or more.
Free talk included with garden entrance
(£5, or £25 for a season ticket).
- 14 April Spring Pruning
- 21 April Staking Perennials
- 28 April Tulip Mania
- 5 May Sowing a Cutting Patch
- 12 May Planting Up My Pots
- 19 May The Chelsea Chop
- 26 May Self-Sowing Plants
- 2 June Umbels
- 9 June Poppies
- 16 June Biennials
- 23 June Midsummer Madness
- 30 June Plants for Bees
- 7 July Plants for Dry Shade
- 14 July Slash and Burn
- 21 July Don’t be Afraid of Orange
- 28 July Salvia Extravaganza
- 4 Aug Taking Cuttings
- 11 Aug Gravel Gardening
- 18 Aug Daisy Day
- 25 Aug Late Summer Colour
- 1 Sept Grasses
- 8 Sept Collect Your Own Seed
- 15 Sept Prairie Perennials
- 22 Sept Ferns and Friends
- 29 Sept Autumn Sowing
- 6 Oct Planting Up Winter Pots
- 13 Oct Use Your Greenhouse
- 20 Oct Grand Autumn Plant Sale