Last week I visited colleagues at Wimpole Estate (National Trust) a place where my horticultural crimes and misdemeanours were committed before moving to Uppark House and Garden to wreak havoc there. I spent (almost) three hugely rewarding years at Wimpole, cutting my National Trust teeth and I got to do some pretty exciting things there. I chanced my luck and submitted a design proposal to the Head Gardener and subject to the late inclusion of a swathe of Rudbeckia, the planting plan was approved. Many of the plants were propagated from existing herbaceous material on site and once the plant list was circulated around the team, offers of plants started flooding in, and so it began. That was 2007 and the first plants went in during the spring of 2008.
In April 2010, we planted the Cherry walk borders and I imagined solid blocks of planting to carry the eye across the beautiful orchard and beyond to the long herbaceous borders. I didn’t want visitors to see the magnificent Soane glasshouse, just yet, I wanted them to linger just a little bit longer. I’m really happy with the development of these borders, the team have stuck with the design principles and strengthened them with some knockout planting.
Wimpole volunteer Emily has been responsible for leading the Apricot border care and development since 2009 and she’s done an amazing job. As hard as it was for me to leave this fabulous project, it was great to know it was in her capable hands. The borders are still looking wonderful as are the fruit trees in the orchard, beautifully maintained by Assistant Gardener Matt, so drop in if you’re in the area and have a look.
Looking across the Cherry walk borders, beyond the orchard to the long Apricot walk borders.
Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, Verbena bonariensis and Penstemon ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’ (formerly known as ‘Garnet’)
Verbena bonariensis and Spartina pectinata ‘Aureomarginata’
Cherry walk borders featuring Rudbeckia fulgida var. ‘Goldsturm’ and Kniphofia ’Tetbury Torch’ and Stipa gigantea
Apricot walk borders
Present ideas? This would make a great Birthday or Christmas gift and is available in the Uppark House and Garden shop. The Wimpole borders are featured on pages 168 & 169.