The English Garden

February 2022

Enjoy over 60 beautiful gardens a year with The English Garden. Every issue features country, city, cottage and coastal gardens, with advice on how to recreate them. Be inspired by articles written by the country's top garden designers and discover the best plant varieties for your garden, chosen by expert nurserymen and plantspeople.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Ann Cooke Ann is a freelance writer and garden enthusiast. She is RHS qualified and writes a blog called Green City Gardens, which focuses on small space and urban gardening. She explores Biddulph Old Hall on page 44. Dr Toby Musgrave Toby is a historian, author and garden designer who writes about ‘forgotten’ garden features on page 63. His new book, The Garden: Elements and Styles, is out now. Find out more at Bhupinder Sohanpal A former lawyer, Bhupinder presents RHS video series Get Set, Grow!, volunteers at Wisley and›writes about gardening and wellbeing. She visits Wisley’s new World Food Garden on p93. IMAGES NEIL HEPWORTH; RHS/HELEN YATES…

1 min

In a bid to banish wintry gloom, we bring you five out-of-season gardens in this issue, all linked by enjoying rich histories. Whether it’s the romantic garden that was created by Nigel Daly and Brian Vowles among the crumbling ruins of an Elizabethan mansion in the grounds of their home, Biddulph Old Hall, or the allegorical gardens created by Victorian writer John Ruskin at Brantwood in the Lake District, these gardens all tell a story beyond the plants and beautiful views. At Brantwood, visitors ascend the steep hillside via a path, the Zig-zaggy, which represents the ascent through purgatory as described by Dante, ending in a terrestrial paradise at the summit. Five months in at my new garden and ‘paradise’ remains some way off, but I have empathy with the purgatory…

2 min
people to meet

Advolly Richmond The garden, landscape and social historian on the pleasures of research and how understanding plant history will make you a better gardener Many gardens are created to be experienced in a particular order. The Villa d’Este in Tivoli is a magnificent High Renaissance garden spread over terraces. The original entrance was at ground level, but now you enter via the villa at the top. When I visited with my daughter, I forced her to run down to the bottom entrance while taking in as little as possible! It was worth it to enjoy the gardens in the intended way, ending at the top with its breathtaking views of the Roman countryside. Garden history is for everyone. It relates not only to gardens but also to places like cemeteries. The local park…

1 min
advolly’s favourite gardens

Stockton Bury Gardens Herefordshire There is an intimacy to this four-acre garden, which overflows with the exquisite planting of its creators. Discover unusual plants and knowledgeable planting combinations. Tel: 07880 712649; Blenheim Palace Oxfordshire You can trace garden history and design styles across this vast 2,000-acre landscape. There are so many contrasts, from the Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown waterfall to the peace of the still lakes. Tel: 01993 810530;…

2 min
out & about

Snowdrop Sundays at Daws Hall 30 January; 6, 13 & 20 February, Essex Wrap up warm, find your camera and get ready to spend a Sunday among the snowdrops at Daws Hall Nature Reserve in the Stour Valley, with special access to its private Sanctuary Garden. A carpet of white will be spread out through the hilltop woodland, and you’ll also be able to enjoy a well-labelled selection of rare trees and shrubs, plus numerous winter flowers. There’s a variety of waterfowl to see, including eider and mandarin ducks and a flock of red-breasted geese from Russia. Adults: £7; Children 5+: £2. RHS introduces sustainability workshops After two years of disruption, the Royal Horticultural Society will resume its adult learning classes at Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Wisley, with Bridgewater following suit…

1 min
things to do

Protect Trees FROM PESTS Rabbits and deer will gnaw at bark during the winter months, so be sure to protect the trunks of any new or young trees from damage In winter, when there’s less leafy growth, garden visitors such as deer or rabbits will often turn to bark for sustenance, gnawing at trunks and sometimes fatally damaging trees or shrubs. Many of us enjoy sharing our gardens with wildlife, but we don’t want to see our valuable plants mutilated, so make sure that you provide adequate protection for trunks. The most fail-safe way of defending your plants is to install deer- and rabbit-proof fencing around the whole garden or smaller parts that you want to protect. Rabbit-proof fencing should be 1.2-1.4m high, with 30cm buried below ground, at least 15cm of which…