The main gardens have been retrieved from scrub and woodland, re-landscaped and planted up. Because the layout owes a lot to the Tudor and Jacobean period almost everything can be seen from the site of the old house. These are walled gardens that were meant to be seen so they were designed to be beautiful as well as productive. Our interpretation now includes a turf maze, yew tunnel, mature trees, terraces with The River Witham flowing through it and ancient walls. Our main focus for this, the largest part of the gardens is to give them a future. We work to keep these fragile walls and ironwork protected from weeds and the elements and are gradually restoring them. Within this structure we have created some really interesting planting:
I have been working on these since we started hacking at the undergrowth in late 2001. They now cover around 2 acres and include the Cedar meadow (full of bulbs for Spring Colour), the Terraces (for summer meadows) and the long grasses so important for insect and bird life in the old kitchen garden.
The Woodland Walk:
This area is dominated by two beautiful old trees, a horse chestnut and a black walnut. The planting here is designed to make the most of the spring light before the canopy of the trees closes down the sunshine reaching the understorey. It includes hellebores, aquilegias, hyacinths and epimediums.
The Velvet Border:
As you enter under the gatehouse this is planted with texture rather than colour in mind. It produces some surprising and striking colour combinations as a result.
The White Space Garden:
My aim here was to create a modern garden that would fit within the structure of a garden 400 years in the making. Inspired by the work of Charles Jencks this garden is ostensibly a traditional white garden but within its structure there are subtle allusions to the nature of the universe and our place within it.
The Long Border:
Designed to peak in late summer, these 80m long borders have a yellow and white theme which can be seen from across the terraces and close up as you wander beside the river.
The Rose Meadows:
In the old enclosed kitchen garden we have planted roses in meadows which add a whole new dimension to viewing these beautiful flowers. The perfect shell pink or buff blooms can be seen through dried grasses in high summer. In Autumn they flower again and when the hay has been cut and they are all labelled for comparison. The meadow is framed by young plantings of some exceptional lilacs.
Grafted especially for us in Lincolnshire, this is an orchard that builds on the strong apple growing tradition in our area. Stamford was noted for its apple production so some of the trees seen here have names associated with the area such as ‘Barnack Beauty’ and ‘Lord Burghley’ We have planted pears, plums, quinces and gages last year and this year more new apple and pear trees will arrive. These are scions taken from some very old trees that survive in the village.
February: Drifts of snowdrops and aconites Spring: Daffodils, little blue bulbs, tulips and cowslips Summer:The swallows, roses and sweet peas Autumn: changing colours, late summer annuals, vegetables and greenhouse.
The Pickery, Cottage and Vegetable gardens are more domestic in scale. We hope these areas will inspire you in your own garden. See the menu for images of these areas.