Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

Home This Weekend

A clear weekend with nothing in the diary is as rare for us as hens teeth. One child home revising, one child at school revising so no need to taxi anyone anywhere. Bliss. So the weekend was spent outside doing as much as possible in the garden.

The garden here at Wyck Farmhouse is evolving very slowly. We are at the tail end of a major refit to the house and I have been patient for two years. Two years is a long time to wait to have a garden so I have been adding small bits and pieces whilst we get to grips with what was a very overgrown garden around the house.

When we moved in to the house, this wall was covered with ivy which was a metre taller than the actual wall. In addition, this gateway was totally obscured with a beautiful honeysuckle and climbing rose which had grown up through the downpipe brackets and behind the buttresses to the wall. Admittedly it was beautiful, smelled amazing and was covered with bees all summer but it needed tackling.

Gate to lane

Finally, with the help of a long ladder, Mr Smith and I have managed to clear the overgrown honeysuckle and rose and I will replant with something less overwhelming. 

Not everything this weekend was about hanging about on the top of ladders attempting to remove small climbers from between brackets and walls. All the plants which I brought back from Stansted Park Garden Show last weekend were still stacked on the drive waiting to be planted. Saturday was the day. 

We are creating a rose garden on the West side of the house where previously there was nothing but a sloping lawn surrounded on one side by lovely wall, another side by house and then a thuja hedge. The space is irregular and I will, with some cunningly placed borders and a stone mowing strip, attempt to visually square it off a bit more and create a garden room. 

Rose Border

The timber posts have climbing roses planted at their feet. The idea is that the rose will climb up and create a rose column, an idea I saw recently on a day with Chris Marchant of Orchard Dene Nursery. The planting here is soft and very traditional; lupins, roses, peonies, astrantia, geraniums, poppies, hollyhocks, Japanese anemones... This side of the house gets bathed in the most glorious evening light and will make the perfect location for summer drinks!

Here is a close-up of what is blooming in my garden this weekend:

Pink lupin and garnium

Pink pink and more pink!!!

opening poppy

The poppies have been amazing this year and their beauty is as striking as they open as when they are fully in flower!

poppy close-up

Poppy and Nepeta

They are planted with Nepeta 'Walkers Low'. As the poppies die down after flowering, the nepeta will cover the bare ground until next year. I have also added some cosmos plants, bought as plugs, to help fill the gaps when the poppies die down.


These were just a last-minute thought at the local garden centre but are great as a cut-flower in arrangements and will reward you with flowers for much of the summer if dead-deaded regularly.

yellow rose

Orlaya grandiflora

This is Orlaya grandiflora, an annual which is top of the list of plants YOU NEED in your garden. I use it in cut flower arrangements and will save the seed for flowers next year. 

The perfect garden, in my mind, gives beauty not only outside, but plenty of flowers to bring inside too. These roses and nigella were cut Sunday morning and were on the table for Father's Day lunch. The vase was found at one of the antique markets in Farnham for a bargain price and I love it!

Rose arrangement

After lunch today, in the lull in which Mr Smith probably wanted to take a nap, I convinced him to join me to see the garden at Binsted Place, which was open in aid of the Binsted Village Hall.

I drive through Binsted nearly every day and always wondered what lay behind the brick wall and this was my chance to find out. The garden is lovely; a really traditional stuffed-full-of-roses garden, with hedges separating the different garden rooms. There is a fruit cage bursting with currants and raspberries, a poly-tunnel full of tomatoes and vegetable beds; and everywhere was bursting with colour and fragrance. 

Arbour with roses

The main garden has double borders of delphiniums backed by cotinus coggygria, lupins, geraniums and other traditional flowers. They are packed in a display that would make any gardener proud. 


Blue Lupins


The poly-tunnel is the home to tomatoes, courgettes, strawberries in hanging baskets and herbs. 


Separating the polytunnel from view is this rose-covered series of arches:


A Shropshire Lad

If ever there was a reason to plant the rose 'A Shropshire Lad', this is it!

more roses

Buff Beauty

Buff Beauty is pictured above.


There are lovely old paths and gates leading to vistas of distant Hampshire hills. 

And there are, of course, chickens...


More chickens

All in all, a good afternoon out and about. I leave you with more of the roses from Binsted Place.









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