Monday, 30 November -0001


Britain’s best gardens explode into scented life over the summer months – and what a show they put on, says Helene Gammack

Written by Helene Gammack
National Trust gardens provide a tapestry of riches, each with its own atmosphere and character. And summer is a longawaited season, as that is when flowers are more plentiful and varied.

House-May01-02-590Left: Rose ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ in the Rose Garden at Lyme Park, Cheshire. Right:Valerian in the herbaceous beds in the Pleasure Grounds at Osterley Park, Middlesex

Cottage gardens are at their best, and a flamboyant assortment of lupins, delphiniums, peonies and irises is typical of the traditional herbaceous border.
House-May01-03-590In the Walled Garden at Packwood House, Warwickshire, contemporary-style herbaceous borders are planted with cool blue and white perennials combined with the tall, translucent spires of golden oat grass

The heat of the sun releases the perfume of the plants, never more evident than in a rose garden in full flourish. Aromatic herb gardens offer the perfect haven for bees and butterflies, with a plentiful supply of nectar and pollen.

House-May01-04-590Left: The hybrid tea rose ‘Savoy Hotel’ at Peckover House, Cambridgeshire Right: Pale pink alliums during summer in the Australasian Garden at Dyffryn Gardens, Glamorgan

In contrast to the well-ordered traditional beds and borders, several National Trust properties are reducing the management of grassy areas for the benefit of wild flowers.

House-May01-05-590The well-ordered, brightly coloured borders at Nymans, West Sussex, in summer. The path leads towards a marble fountain

The chalky soil at Polesden Lacey in Surrey provides ideal conditions for the poppies and cornflowers that thrive among meadow grasses, while at Tyntesfield in Somerset, areas of the lawns are left uncultivated to encourage colonies of wild species.

House-May01-06-590Left: Red lobelia at Peckover House, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire Right: Wild flowers at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Extracted from Inspirational Gardens Through The Seasons, by Helene Gammack, published by National Trust Books, priced £14.99.

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