15 Mar English Country Gardens – Don’t hold back on the dahlias
“How many gentle flowers grow in an English Country Garden?” asks the lyrics of the old Morris dancing song. Today the answer is undoubtedly more than almost one hundred years ago when Australian composer Percy Grainger famously arranged this well-known tune for piano in 1918.
Daffodils, hollyhocks, roses and fox gloves have made way for alpine mosses, alliums, sun flowers and lilies in English designer gardens – modern day gardeners are forsaking tradition for exotics from Asia, Europe and South America.
To mark the 300th anniversary of prominent historical gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the UK is this year celebrating the Year of the English Garden. The programme seeks to spotlight and celebrate the country’s fabulous gardens, using events to inspire people during 2016.
Capability Brown was a garden designer whose vision for the future has influenced the landscapes of hundreds of English Country estates. Brown cut his teeth at Stowe, then owned by Lord Cobham – now a leading public school where the gardens are still open to the public to be enjoyed. Over the years he designed over 170 parks, many of which can still be seen today.
Indeed garden design is in vogue as much today as it was in the mid 1700’s, although gathering exotic plants and well established trees is an easier accomplishment now.
Prime Surrey Estate Agency, Barton Wyatt are regularly involved in offering advice to landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers when it comes to the foliage in their garden.
Barton Wyatt is situated in the heart of the millionaire’s paradise, Virginia Water and the Wentworth Estate. Drive around this estate during any daylight hour and most homes will have gardener’s vans on the drive whilst the steady hum of a leaf blower pervades the air.
Capability Brown was no stranger to Surrey working on the magnificent gardens of Kew, Hampton Court, Claremont and Clandon Park to name a few.
James Wyatt, Partner of Barton Wyatt and Wentworth resident, comments:
“We are blessed in the vicinity with some wonderful gardens to visit. The Savill Garden is part of the Royal Landscape and is just moments from Virginia Water. Here gardens and woodland can be enjoyed by everyone, from dedicated horticulturalists to families wanting to enjoy someone else’s green fingers. And a couple of miles further afield is Great Fosters where the garden is designed to replicate the intricate beauty of a Persian rug. In the summer fragrant beds of flowers and herbs are bordered by manicured hedges and topiary.
“Homeowners like to introduce some of these green fingered ideas into their gardens and we are able to put our clients in touch with some visionary gardeners in the locality. Many of the homes we sell are newly built and developers must work hard to create something that doesn’t look too barren and new.
“Savvy developers work with landscape architects from the onset of the project, creating external plans that keep existing foliage and trees. These are often trimmed back as the schemes commence and shaped to perfection as the last paving stone is laid.”
“An unloved garden will do nothing to help sell your home or get a tenant in situ quickly. Smart homes with manicured gardens sell 10 times quicker than a garden that has been left to run riot. Indeed, we do not accept houses for rental that have not had their gardens attended too – it would be a waste of everyone’s time. And once a tenant is living in a rental home we can arrange for a gardener to come weekly to keep it in shape.
“I would say that 95% of the gardens on Wentworth are maintained by professional gardeners – people living in these homes are captains of industry and often running their own businesses. I am sure they would love to deadhead the dahlias but quite frankly they don’t have the time.”