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The original gardens were destroyed many years ago, only a few mature trees have survived. Re-planting began in 1979 with the arrival of the present owners, and improvement work continues every year. Robin Mason, the previous head gardener, carried out many improvements to the original planting, which I hope to continue.

You can now take a peek behind the scenes by visiting the online diary of our gardeners. To visit the blog, CLICK HERE

Linette Applegate (Head Gardener)

Awarded a star in the 'Good Gardens Guide' from 1994 onwards.


NEW FOR 2007 - Seasonal Gardening Workshops

Head Gardener, Linette Applegate will be leading 3 seasonal gardening workshops. These will cover the basics of gardening, for the relevant season and are ideal for giving extra confidence and knowledge for enthusiastic amateurs. These hands-on days are limited to 10 participants.

SPRING GARDENING - 3 April 2007

Advice on sowing seeds, maintaining a healthy lawn, pruning, mulching and composting and much more. (10.00am - 3.30pm) £40 including lunch

SUMMER GARDENING - 5 June 2007

Techniques for summer pruning, deadheading, pests, diseases, fertilisers and more. (10.00am - 3.30pm) £40 including lunch

AUTUMN GARDENING - 4 Sept 2007

Covering all end of season tasks and preparation for winter. Autumn lawn care and plant division. (10.00am - 3.30pm) £40 including lunch

Please ring to book or for more details.



HERB GARDEN
Planted in 1986 to a design by Lucy Huntingdon the Herb Garden is protected on two sides by the old kitchen garden wall.
The outer border was planted to reflect the culinary, medicinal and insect repellent virtues of the herbs, while the inner section is planted with some of the many species and cultivars of thymes.

CROQUET LAWN
I had suggested that the old tennis court was very ugly and should be removed, and Lady Bowman-Shaw had tentatively agreed (it was from Lady B-S that the idea of a croquet lawn had come) but Sir Neville was less sure. So I waited for a suitable opportunity and quickly pulled down the rusty fence and excavated the tarmac.
Over 200 tons of sandy soil were brought in and 600 dwarf box plants were propagated for the low surrounding hedge.

ROSE GARDEN
Re-constructed in the late 1970's with a central fish-pond, the layout is diagonally symmetrical, with white Iceberg floribundas in opposite corners and yellow Mountbatten's in the other corners. These rose beds have recently been under-planted with Gallium odorata (woodruff) & Viola tricolor (heart's ease pansies) and Cerastium tomentosum (snow-in-summer).

SWIMMING POOL GARDEN
400 delphiniums were grown from seed, lavender, rue and rosemary were propagated to provide the evergreen structure and a dozen or so roses were bought in. This area is mainly used during mid-summer (for swimming!) and so the emphasis was to provide a splash of colour right through Summer and early Autumn.

GEORGE'S BED
The original planting was jumbled, all yellows, pinks and blues…the only plant doing well was a Hydrangea sargentiana, which remains. Some-one had put in several large poles, about 10 feet apart and joined by drooping chains, covered in climbing roses ('Felicitie et Perpetue, Albertine, Mme. Alfred Carriere etc.) These were good and gave height, so they would stay. I'd grown peonies in awkward spots in my previous gardens and there weren't any here so they were first choice.

The peonies have been glorious from the start, covered in June with huge pink and white blooms, but the rock-roses withered away and were replaced by dianthus (pinks) and species foxgloves. Something about the soil is bad and the pinks withered away too, but the foxgloves (Digitalis lanata, D. lutea and D. grandiflora) have thrived and self-seed prodigiously.

UMPIRE'S BANK
Inula magnifica predominates and has to be kept under control, Rosa paulii has been planted and is allowed to scramble down the slope, and the planting of two Laburnum x wateri standards near the centre has given the bank some style and significance.

HERBACEOUS BORDERS
Long & Short Borders are about 40 yards long and each is 6 yards wide, split along their length by an ancient stone path (The Long Walk) which continues on for another 60 yards.
An avenue of pleached limes (Tilia platyphyllos) lines the central path, casting a heavy shadow beneath. Hostas, ferns and hellebores have been used in this dry shade, recently complimented by swathes of erythroniums and bluebells to give what is one of the finest garden displays I have ever seen.

The New Borders, 60 yards long and a total of 12 yards wide, are a natural progression of the Old, following along beside the old stone path. The new borders echo the old, without slavishly copying the original, with a new focus at the centre of peach and white English roses. Hostas, ferns and hellebores have again been used on either side of the stone path, and were inter-planted with erythroniums and bluebells in Autumn 2000, to give a total length of 100 yards.

WOODS & LAKES
In the woods behind the Manor are two large, shallow lakes. They had been dredged in the early days of the modern improvements, but neglected since.
Andrew Bowman-Shaw, the eldest son and recently qualified tree-surgeon, helped us clear a track right around the largest lake. Bridges over the supply streams were built and gravel was brought in to form a pathway. Areas of bog and rough ground were a problem, so duck-boarding was constructed to keep visitors feet out of the water.

NEW PATIO
Just outside the Study door a small paved garden was created during the Spring of 2001. Protected by standard English roses and underplanted with dwarf box to be clipped to echo the interesting swirling pattern of the nearby fascia boarding.
Colours are gentle greys, pinks and blues to blend with the dusky pink of the the House.

Linette Applegate (Head Gardener)

 
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HERB GARDEN
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CROQUET LAWN
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ROSE GARDEN
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POOL GARDEN
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GEORGE'S BED
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UMPIRE'S BANK
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HERBACEOUS BORDERS
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WOODS & LAKES
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NEW PATIO
© Toddington Manor Gardens 2007