Gardeners: Tim and Bridget Wiltshire Location Brockworth Court, Court Road, Brockworth, Gloucestershire GL3 4QU
Pairing cottage-style planting with formal structure is a classic garden combination.
Tim and Bridget Wiltshire have used a passion for visiting famous gardens to inspire and direct the development of their intensely planted garden, and in doing so they’ve made it uniquely their own. The garden might be in its 18th year of creation, but its history stretches back much further. “It has evolved over the centuries,” reveals Tim. “The property used to belong to Llanthony Priory, based in Gloucester, and garden here and a pond for fish in the days of the monks.” When the couple arrived the garden was pretty much a blank canvas. There was the original kitchen garden slightly away from the house, while the pond had become a shallow dew pool for watering cattle. Tim decided to relate the developing garden to the different aspects of the house. “One side is pre-Tudor and Tudor, with its wooden frame and overhang, so the garden has a parterre with box and herbs to reflect that period.
Facing west is more of a farmhouse cottage frontage, so we’ve put in beech hedges to identify that section. The south side is the rebuilt Victorian frontage, so that part is a little more structured and formal with more herbaceous planting.” But while the house might be central to the garden, it’s the pond that steals the show. They re-dug the clay-lined pond and put an island at its centre on which stands the ‘Fiji house’, a thatched roundhouse inspired by an overseas trip a decade ago. Further inspiration came from a trip to Monet’s garden at Giverny, with its famous water lily pond and bridge. Tim had an exact replica made to span the pond in this Gloucestershire garden, the water’s surface covered in water lilies.
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