Rivermead

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Rivermead

Ready to open

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Rivermead

The wilderness 14 years ago

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Rivermead

Hattie samples the refreshments

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Rivermead

Kniphofia 'Bees Lemon'

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Rivermead

Joe Pye Weed

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Rivermead

Joe Pye Weed with Kniphofia and Calamagrotis

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Rivermead

Bespoke garden furniture by Ed Brooks

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Rivermead

Stipa gigantea

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Rivermead

Calamgrotis Karl Forester dominates the grasses

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Rivermead

Joe Pye Weed, perfect for cutting

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Rivermead

Kniphofia Bees Lemon; the only tasteful Kniphofia?

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Rivermead

Verbena bonariensis

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Rivermead

Sweet Chestnut gates by Ed brooks

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Rivermead

Rest and relax

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Rivermead

Man cave ahead...

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Rivermead

Man cave entrance

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Rivermead

Inside the man cave

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Rivermead

Cucumbers climb

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Rivermead

Cucumbers and...

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Rivermead

Tomatoes

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Rivermead

Cosmos, the perfect cut flower?

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Rivermead

Cosmos

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Rivermead

Our first open day in September 2015

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Rivermead

Our first open day in September 2015

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Rivermead

Our first open day in September 2015

Project Details

Moving into this Edwardian House some 14 years ago, the house was uninhabitable, the kids were young and a handful, and the garden was a wilderness. Initial time, money and energy was spent on making the house fit to live in. Once the grass had been cut to 50mm, Alex had his football pitch so was happy. I squeezed in some vegetable beds under the fruit trees, but frankly the design could only evolve on paper.

But as Alexs ability to kick a ball way beyond the garden grew, I seized the opportunity to start dividing the garden up into rooms, with ultimately mixed herbaceous borders, raised veg beds and a magnificent bespoke man cave, combining stunning greenhouse with potting shed. A wild flower meadow developed with more fruit trees being planted, and in a reckless moment the decision to open the garden to the Public was made in 2015, raising money for my great nephew, Leo, who at 4 months had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Leo now seems to have recovered and the gardens been approved to be open in 2016 under the prestigious National Garden Scheme. The idea of a garden evolving to suit family commitments and budgets is a philosophy close to my design ethos. Few people can afford a garden of quality to be created overnight and anyway slow gardening like slow cooking often results in a better outcome.

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