About the Garden


Twenty years ago, 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).

Eight years ago 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

In twenty years it has grown and bloomed beyond our wildest expectations.

Pictures of the Garden Directions


Garden Open Days

  • The garden is open for Special Tuesdays (see right column) every Tuesday mid April through mid October.
  • The garden will also be open every Wednesday in July and August.
  • It will be open for the National Gardens Scheme once a month on the third Thursdays, June through October.
  • On all these days the garden will be open from 10:30 to 5 .
    Homemade teas available on garden open days.
    Entry £5 (or £25 for a season ticket)
  • Garden visits can be arranged for groups of 6 or more on weekdays.   Tours of the garden are available for groups of 12 or more.

Special Tuesdays

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).

  • 16 April - Spring Pruning
  • 23 April - Staking Perennials
  • 30 April - Dressing Up the Garden
  • 7 May -   Planting up My Pots 
  • 14 May - How to Sow a Cutting Patch 
  • 21 May - The Chelsea Chop 
  • 28 May - Generous Self-sowing Plants
  • 4 June -  Umbels
  • 11 June - Poppies 
  • 18 June - Sowing Biennials 
  • 25 June - Midsummer Madness 
  • 2 July  -  Plants for Bees (Derry away)
  • 9 July -   Don't Be Afraid of Orange
  • 16 July - Slash and Burn
  • 23 July - Plants for Dry Shade
  • 30 July - Salvia Extravaganza 
  • 6 Aug -  Taking Cuttings
  • 13 Aug - Daisy Day
  • 20 Aug - Gravel Gardening
  • 27 Aug - Late Summer Colour
  • 3 Sept - Collecting Your Own Seed
  • 10 Sept - Ferns and Friends
  • 17 Sept - Grasses
  • 24 Sept - Autumn Planting
  • 1 Oct -   Planting My Winter Pots 
  • 8 Oct -  The Big Boys - Trees and Shrubs
  • 15 Oct - Autumn Flowers 
  • 22 Oct - Grand Autumn Plant Sale

NGS Garden Open Days 2019

  • 20 June, 18 July, 15 August, 19 September and 17 October.  Third Thursdays
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