Summer 2019 Open Gardens

by Jane on October 18, 2019

It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog and I have some varied visits to blog about – the first ones in June. My village, Wappenham in south Northamptonshire, once again opened its gardens for the National Garden Scheme, and there were all sorts of gardens to see. I didn’t get round all of them so my apologies to those I missed out, such as Hilary and John’s lovely garden full of flowers and fruit. Please note that the weather was very wet so imagine how it would all look when the sun came out…

The first garden was at the end of my road and was originally designed by James Alexander Sinclair. It was great to have a closer look, as it has three interesting areas joined together in quite a small space. Here is the entrance path:

Wiggly stone path lined with green planting

This runs past the front door on the left, to a swimming pool area set in the old barnyard.

This pool is very sheltered as it is surrounded by buildings on three sides, and a hedge and gate on the fourth. Near the gate is a nice raised pond, with yellow phormiums behind:

The swimming pool is to the right. Meanwhile, in the foreground of this raised pond, is the house terrace, leading to the back garden. James has arranged ‘exploding squares’ here, beds set at angles to lead you through to the back garden:

Square flower beds in gravel

The two men above are looking at the back lawn, ingeniously filled with topiary. Here is the view from the bottom of the lawn back to the house.

Stone house, hedges and topiary knot garden and lawn in front

I haven’t included the veg garden or the hen house which has its own hedged area, but it was very stimulating to see something different.

Dodging rain showers, I called in at Beeches Farm, at which it was too rainy to take many photos, and Wappenham Manor, which has opened and been blogged about before. Here are some photos of the Manor, another James Alexander Sinclair garden.

Wappenham Manor drivewasy
Large lawn, herbaceous borders and a cedar of Lebanon - classic English style
Sweeping lawn, a large cedar tree, and a herbaceous border – classic English country garden
Stone steps and cascading flowers
Stone steps edged with cascading plants
The plants by the steps in more detail, mauves whites and pinks
The plants by the steps in closeup – white and pink geraniums and purple salvias
Pleached trees line a shady path between vegetable beds
Pleached trees line a shady path between vegetable beds

Lastly I visited a garden made by the owners and full of interesting ideas. The entrance is lined with pots of white pelargoniums and some azaleas in flower:

Stone paved path to red front door with pots of white pelargoniums

Then leading round to the right, you pass a lovely deep red climbing rose:

Red climbing rose up stone house wall

Then through the arch and uphill to the rest of the garden:

Wooden arch with roses, lawn and topiary in the background

Then to the right of all this, there is another garden, on the garage roof. Now a bit late to see it as it is full of azaleas, but still, the view was worth going up the steps for.

Pots of plants on garage roof
Garden on roof looking into rest of garden

The rest of the garden is shaded by tall trees, with roses, and is lined with beds with displays such as these hostas in pots, under the fragrant philadelphus.

Pots of hostas under flowering philadelphus

At the back of this garden is a hedgehog nest – note the sign!

Sign on hedge asking people to be quiet as hedgehogs were resting

Lastly, a pic of the ‘natural’ part of my own garden: lilacs, peonies and the meadow patch. The veg garden is yet to spring to life.

Red peonies, long grass and a white bench behind them in front of lilacs

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Edwina Robarts October 19, 2019 at 9:45 am

Love the photos of Wappenham Manor. I have a photo of my grandparents and their 6 grandchildren sitting on the steps which they had recently built (circa 1950). Garden looks lovely now.

Jane October 21, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Hello Edwina,

That’s nice to know. I’m editor of Wappenham’s newsletter, and we would love to see your photo in it, if you didn’t mind sending it – Im sure the current house owners would especially love to see it. If you’d like to see copies of the newsletter, go to

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