Rural Farmhouse, near Montacute
Frequency of Visits: Weekly. 1/2 day visit per week March to November. Fortnightly visits December to February
Charges: Day/half day rates invoiced on a monthly basis
Basic Brief: Maintaining and developing garden areas, including beds and borders, topiary, climbers.
Lawn cutting of main lawns
Mr & Mrs H contacted Simon Land Gardens in May 2014 to help with ongoing maintenance of their 2 acre garden near Montacute, Somerset. The clients are both keen gardeners themselves and are active in the garden, though due to the size and complexity of the garden, required ongoing assistance.
This was an established garden when I joined with formal lawns, a herbaceous border, vegetable area, shade borders, large gravel garden and general mixed borders surrounding the house. The house is approached on a long drive running parallel to an area with established fruit trees and a growing arboretum, as well as a wildlife pond bordered by some beautiful Gunnera manicata.
There is an interesting mix of planting in the garden with a good collection of hydrangeas, as well as some clever use of ornamental grasses. There are a number of feature trees in the garden including a gorgeous mulberry (Morus nigra), as well as a monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) and a Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
The garden is open once a year in the village open gardens, in 2016 attracting over 250 weekend visitors.
Additional Projects - All gardens evolve and change, even established ones. Myself and the clients are always discussing current works and ongoing projects so we all are clear on how the garden is progressing. After needing to have a tired conifer hedge removed and replaced with a fence (not installed by me), we had the challenge of screening the new boundary. Over the winter we planned to transplant a group of around 20 established hydrangeas in the garden, to run the length of the fence. The fence behind was then planted with Clematis montana growing up through chicken wire mesh attached to it. This was hard graft but worked a treat! A basic path was then laid by myself allowing access along the new hydrangea walk.
We are also undertaking long term improvements to the formal lawns including levelling of dips and hollows. This spring I undertook a deep scarification of the lawns.