I have attempted to create a modern garden using inspirations from many different sources both in this country and around the globe. Wherever we have placed sculpture I have kept the planting palette simple but dramatic so that the work remains the star of the show. Generous planting in every aspect means different areas of the garden are given specific shape and definition and of course there must be evergreens for winter interest. Experience has also taught me the importance of trusting to certain tried and tested species to deal with the more difficult soil conditions that we have here – there is no advantage in planting luscious and exotic lovelies that promptly die because they are too wet, wind-blown or frozen in winter.
Since our first gale-lashed, rain-sodden winter we have planted 2,500 or so trees and shrubs and a great deal more smaller herbaceous plants, bulbs and grasses. Many are natives and what would have been growing here years before the lakes were dug and the ground generally messed about with and our aim is to try and restore the original flora as much as possible. Now and then I do get tempted by the odd luscious and exotic lovely…..
As well as a blank canvas of a garden to play with we also had similar free range over the rest of the land around the lakes which had been heavily mowed and fenced in. Our first action was to take fences and gates away and to reduce grass cutting to the barest minimum. Well advised by Dorset Wildlife Trust, we allowed nature back in to reclaim her wild bits and set seed.
It is our greatest wish to leave the place in a better state that we found it both for flora and fauna and to make as small an impact on the environment as possible, if only it was that easy on a world-wide basis.
I hope above all that visitors enjoy the garden as much as I enjoy creating and improving it, I have stolen ideas from every garden I have ever visited and probably every garden book I’ve looked at, my thanks to all those unwitting contributors.