SCULPTING A LANDSCAPE
START WITH A THREE ACRE FLAT FIELD
Rent a digger and dumper
Move 110,000 tonnes of soil
Add plants and water
WILDSIDE HAS EVOLVED INTO THREE DISTINCT AREAS, EACH WITH ITS OWN DISTINCTIVE ATMOSPHERE
THE LOWER GARDEN
A network of narrow paths snake between an intricate landscape of raised mounds, creating an intriguing journey of hills and valleys, shady dells and sunny pools, where one turn might hint at a Himalayan hillside; another, a mossy Cornish combe. Early in the year we enjoy the sinuous shapes of the land and the natural sculpture of elegantly shaped trees. As the year goes on, the garden fills with flowers: this complex topography has permitted us to create a wonderful diversity of habitats and to experiment with a huge variety of plants – carefully positioned so that the easily overlooked beauties of small jewel-like woodlanders can be full appreciated.
This is the most formal part of the garden, bounded by a 80metre arbour swathed in wisteria, and adobe walls inspired by the ochre-coloured cliffs of Bryce Canyon in Utah. With memories of cloistered gardens and winter trips to see flowers in sunny climes, here you will enjoy a flavour of the Mediterranean with the trees and shrubs reminiscent of the southern hemisphere: the play of light and shadow, and the scents of daphnes and lilies in summer
Here, in the shelter of a 35ft mount, a sequence of landscapes is still taking shape – the flowerscapes of Naquamaland, Nordic birch forest, Mediterranean hillside… all conceived as a semi-natural adjunct to the lower gardens, and larger in ambition and in scale. Central to the vision is a South African-inspired garden celebrating the vivid life of Ros Wiley. This is a garden packed with memories, which takes as its starting point the joyous recollection of mile upon mile of flowers, in thrilling colour combinations, blooming improbably out of unforgiving rock and sand, counterbalanced by the soothing sounds of running water. Our aim here is to try to recapture the essence of this bounty, under our rather danker Dartmoor skies: see the Tribute Garden page for more details.
Visit the GALLERY to see how these areas change through the seasons.