In 1993, the field known as ‘Ten Trees’ stretching westwards from the house was developed into an extension of the original garden. For some time bemused passers-by would see a mini-digger throwing up mounds to provide visual screens and enhance the already undulating form of the surrounding landscape. In due course what at first appeared barren slag heaps were planted with a broad palette of trees shrubs, perennials and bulbs in an unfamiliar style which was evolved at The Garden House. This style became known as ‘New Naturalism’ and the former field was named The Long Walk.
Intensively developed over a ten year period The Long Walk is many different gardens seamlessly merging into one. They are built up around three principal vistas.
The first of these, immediately obvious as you enter the South African Garden, is towards the mysterious circle of stones found at the garden’s western most boundary. The next and perhaps the most memorable is seen approximately half way along the Long Walk as you reach the Cottage Garden and the Cornish Hills come into view with St. Andrew’s church, Buckland Monachorum in the foreground. The final vista is from the top summer house perched above the Quarry Garden towards The Dovecote below The Bulb Meadow.
Around the vistas run a network of meandering paths that take you to the heart of the naturalistic plantings and offer close up encounters with the many rare and unusual plants grown in the garden. Throughout the Long Walk are many places with secluded seating where you can simply sit and savour the tranquillity of this unique place – often the only sound you will hear is birdsong – or just possibly the hum of a mower!
Next: The South African Garden