Rainy and Wonderful – Cottesbrooke Hall Gardens part 2

by Jane on January 2, 2015

My last post was about part of a visit to Cottesbrooke, Northants. in the rain in late August, when the blowsy dahlias were at their peak. This is about the rest of the garden – fantastic still-exuberant terrace borders and a completely different feel in the waterside Wild Garden.

James Alexander Sinclair was asked to come up with the terraces by Alistair Macdonald-Buchanan, the current owner of the Hall; as James says:

“We spent many happy hours wandering around tweaking things until he made the decision to tear out and replant the 197ft-long terrace borders. There was nothing particularly wrong with them, it was just that the time had come for a change.

Previously, they were dominated by statuesque yuccas that were getting too big for comfort, now they are softer and more flowing: there are trailing ribbons of herbaceous plants, bulbs and tender perennials drifting between solid yew buttresses and old brick walls.” [taken from this article on the gardens as a whole]

The terraces stand above the rest of the formal gardens around the house, and are reached by pretty stone steps:

Overall view of terrace beds
© Harpur Garden Images

Bright pink dahlias and persicaria billow onto the central path:

Flowers billow onto path

James has used the yew buttresses as a backcloth to some of the more colourful and statuesque plants:

Dahlias against yew block

Here are the beds earlier in the summer, © Harpur Garden Images:

Beds in early summer 1

Beds in early summer 2

Beyond the terraces the grounds are large spacious lawn separated from sheep with an invisible ‘ha-ha’ ditch. Down a long path and through gates lies the Wild Garden, with steep slopes surrounding a stream with thick bog-loving plants:

Wild garden overall view

wild garden pink plants and trees

gunnera and willow

Little bridges cross the stream making this a pretty place for a picture of friends:

People on bridge

But the most romantic part of the garden when it’s raining is the little shelter overlooking the stream.  It’s very snug and veiled by hanging plants.  In this weather, with this view, you can see why Indians love the rainy season and see it as a reason for romance!

hut in wild garden

willows from hut

More plants from hut

Happy New Year and enjoy garden visiting in 2015.

To visit Cottesbrooke go to their website for further details on opening times dependent on time of year. Open 6th May – 24th September 2015.


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