Two castles: two gardens: a view or two

The double tall beeches make a tunnel along which the visitor travels on the top of a levee above the surrounding landscape.  This is  the driveway to Drummond Castle, near Criefff in Perthshire.  We swooped in like bats and burst out at the far end by a tower house settled on a rock, commanding the…

Best/worst front gardens – series 4

Too long since the front gardens got scrutinised and now once more, the pull is topiary.   I rate this garden *** as long as I can have the house too – or at least a porch and facade as red bricky as this one: Ratings explained: *         call for a…

Designing with hedges

The landscapers are planting whips like anything right now.  Whips are twigs to you and me.  The cheapest are 20 to 30 centimetres  in height which seems like a slow  start  in the  first days of the life of a hedge.

And so to Columbine Hall.

Tucked away  in Suffolk behind rape fields and not far from ribbon development bungalows.  The house  takes its name not from the flower but by way of ancient association with the Norman family of de Columbers who owned the feudal manor in the 13C.  Moated houses are common in this part of England but this…

Pattern of the DAY

Hebe rakaiensis is sturdy and a stalwart evergreen small shrub that can behave in the box ball manner.  Standing in  for a less harsh form of topiary, the fresh green leaves grabbed my attention yesterday.  It’s a good shrub for the small garden but needs to be kept pruned so that it doesn’t go leggy….