My Favourite Window

October 7, 2010

Another Garden

This morning I visited Breedenbroek Gardens, nestled low on the Ashley Downs and owned by Kay MacLachan and Rudi Steyn. The Ben McMaster design provides the English inspired structure, with it's avenues and axes, its hornbeam hedges and perennial borders, but Kay and Rudi actively develop and cultivate this lovely space. It pleases me as a gardeners' garden, but within its discipline there is room for friends, and children, and their animals. I was surprised that the details that pleased me most were not the little clump of wood anemones flowering amongst a mound of bugle weed, nor the eager drifts of creamy-flowered comfrey, nor even the large clump of Astelia 'Silver Queen' under the swamp cypresses in the middle of the pond (which pleased me very much) but the thoughtfulness and evidence of habitation threading through the grand design. I liked to find, at a point where a garden path nudged the farm fence, that a little gate stood open - as if by chance - inviting the visitor to walk beyond the garden across a bridge and back in from the farm by another gate. I liked to find a lamb's feeding bottle on a seat in the transept of Rudi's magnificent hand built pavilion. I liked to find a hen run that was not worn to dust, but planted with fowl-proof tussocks, star jasmine and a crepuscule rose scrambling over the chicken wire.
I liked to come across my children and theirs laughing together in the formal spaces.
Visit: at least the website for more details and good photographs.
Wood anemone Anemone nemerosa
Bugleweed Ajuga reptans
Ground cover comfrey Symphytum tuberosum
Swamp cypress Taxodium distichum
Fowl-proof tussock Festuca glauca
Star jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

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