‘This is the third Kerry has started from scratch and each time she has re­lied solely on her own in­stinct’

Scottish Field - - GARDENS -

wavy pruned yew hedges echoed in front by a unique scal­loped edg­ing of box. Here Iris ‘Pur­ple Byzan­tine’ look stun­ning be­side Kerry’s much rec­om­mended Cot­i­nus ‘Grace’.

The west bor­der, which takes you back to the house, flames its way through late sum­mer and au­tumn with Rosa Ju­lia, Peony ‘ Spring Car­ni­val, Phormium ‘Maori Sunset’, Monarda, Arun­cus, knau­tia, sun­flow­ers, Kniphofia and Pho­tinia.

Be­hind the house there is, un­be­liev­ably, more to come. Here the at­mos­phere is quiet, ethe­real. The tall spires of yel­low Lil­ium ‘Golden Splen­dor’ rise dra­mat­i­cally up t he slope above com­pan­ion plant­ing – an inspired treat­ment of a dif­fi­cult area. The slope above the drive awaits its turn.

Kerry mulches the borders each spring with coun­cil waste and out­lines the five prin­ci­ples that un­der­pin her gar­dens: never walk past a weed, but place a few dec­o­ra­tive clay pots in strate­gic places and pop the of­fend­ers out of sight; de­velop a good eye for ill­ness and ban­ish the suf­ferer in­stantly to hos­pi­tal; be sin­gle-minded in your pur­suit of bal­ance and re­move any plant that be­comes over dom­i­nant in colour, shape or size; en­sure that ev­ery door opens onto a per­fumed plant; don’t waste time on veg­eta­bles – ex­cept cour­gettes.

Such a gar­den as this is rare. You are there for the plants and they are there for you. They give of their blooms, their fra­grance and their peace as only a beloved gar­den can. Top: The borders of­fer up an ar­ray of colours and form through­out the year. Cen­tre: Plants are care­fully cho­sen for their con­tri­bu­tion to each other. Bot­tom: Bees love Scabiosa at­rop­ur­purea ‘Black Knight’.

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