VA­RI­ETY SHOW

DI­VERSE HABI­TATS WORK AS ONE IN THIS GARDEN, PRO­VID­ING ITS OWNER WITH ABUN­DANT OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES TO SHOW­CASE A RANGE OF PLANTS

Condé Nast House & Garden - - CONTENTS -

Di­verse habi­tats coex­ist in this English garden, al­low­ing for a range of plants to flour­ish

‘When we first saw it, we were im­pressed by how well it fit­ted into the land­scape,’ says roger new­ton of their home and garden in dorset, where he and his wife doreen have lived since 2005. Ma­ture trees help knit it into its sur­round­ings. The rare black poplar grows on the river banks and they have in­her­ited var­i­ous trees planted in the six­ties by a pre­vi­ous owner, in­clud­ing a gingko on the front lawn, a Ja­panese maple and a metase­quoia. all pro­vide a frame­work for the clas­sic ‘plants­man’s garden’.

The term ‘plants­man’s garden’ is some­times a warn­ing for the hor­ti­cul­tural stamp col­lec­tion. here at Brad­docks, roger’s gar­den­ing pas­sion has cre­ated some­thing more en­tic­ing: a range of habi­tats that all seem to be naturally there. each is full of plant life – some of it com­mon, some not so com­mon, some rather spe­cial in­deed, but all co-ex­ist­ing and com­ple­ment­ing one an­other.

roger’s over­rid­ing pas­sion is mag­no­lias, camel­lias and other plants that need acidic soil. In­deed, he says he ‘chose the garden for its acidic soil’, which is, how­ever, 1.1 hectares of heavy clay. Its wa­ter-hold­ing qual­i­ties can be valu­able, but not suit­able for ev­ery­thing. There­fore, his love of spring-flow­er­ing shrubby species is in­dulged by mem­ber­ship of the rhs rhodo­den­dron, camel­lia & Mag­no­lia group.

a pair of ponds draws the eye to­wards the cen­tre of the garden. one was here al­ready; the other roger had dug and linked to an ar­ti­fi­cial stream and a bog garden, which pro­vides an im­por­tant habi­tat for some of the most spec­tac­u­lar plant­ing. The 25-me­tre-long bog garden shares a liner with the new pond, but is sep­a­rated from it by a line of stones hold­ing back a layer of soil. It is home to the gi­ant leaves of Gun­nera man­i­cata, the very early-flow­er­ing Lysi­chi­ton

amer­i­canus and, in early sum­mer, hosts of can­de­labra prim­u­las. na­tive to wet mead­ows and stream­sides in the hi­malayan re­gion, these prim­u­las are some of the most vi­brant of garden peren­ni­als reach­ing to more than a me­tre high and self-sow even be­yond the bog garden.

Much of the plant­ing ex­em­pli­fies Roger’s phi­los­o­phy of ‘let­ting plants do their own thing’

NOEL KINGSBURY pho­to­graphs CLAIRE TAKACS

To­wards the cen­tre of this English garden in Dorset, there are two ponds sur­rounded by ma­ture bal­sam poplar trees. One of the ponds is linked to a bog garden text

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