one delightfully eccentric plantaholic 4 acres of land and the result
is a collection of the probably the rarest and most unusual woody
plants to be found outside the Hillier Arboretum.
Add a passion for
peonies and Veronica Cross has her garden as she likes it, freely
admitting that she is not a tidy gardener.
there are too many rare woody plants to fit into the space available
and the result is an overcrowded collection where nothing has the
space to achieve or display its full potential: and she is still
winter had taken its toll on planting around the house but ever the
optimist, Veronica was leaving the dead skeletons, just in case they
recovered and a large magnolia next to the house was starting to
sprout but how many years will it take to achieve an aesthetically
pleasing shape again?
row of white small flowered roses up the drive was a pleasing
greeting opposite which was a row of Hydrangea paniculata
obviously selected to give late summer colour after the roses have
A promising start followed by a path leading away from the
house with wisteria clad arches intermingled with every Cercis
cultivar available to man or woman – another passion.
carefully negotiated an electrified rabbit fence, all reference to
garden design vanished, and we were guided around narrow paths into
grass clearings surrounded by rarities, too numerous to mention.
herbaceous plants were confined to the front edge of the beds and
were definitely an afterthought. This space was reserved for the
herbaceous and tree peonies leaning forward in an attempt to see the
sky. Humorous touches are to be found in the group of three topiary
teddy bears having a picnic, whilst a pair of giraffes, carefully
crafted out of Irish yew, lurked in one of the many glades.
a plants person myself I started out appreciating the rareties I was
seeing but fairly rapidly I began feeling sorry for the plants
crammed into this arboricultural zoo and wanted to give them the
freedom of space they well deserved.