One of the best things about going to Yellow Book gardens (which open to raise money for charity under the National Gardens Scheme) is the way they are brimming with inspiration. Last weekend I went up to Hertfordshire to see what Tom Stuart-Smith had created at his family home at Serge Hill, and came away with many photographs and notes of the eye-catching plant combinations – and a euphorbia I had coveted since seeing it at Hidcote.
In his Barn Garden (left) he uses elements from the Daily Telegraph garden he created for Chelsea.The lime green of the euphorbia contrasts beautifully with a deep pink astrantia.
I loved the way the colours of these delphiniums and cranesbill geraniums play against each other.This striking vista was created by hornbeam hedges - but would be too much work for me.
This Sunday, June 29, the excitement moves to our part of London. Some neighbours, Chris and Miranda, are opening their garden at 208 Walm Lane, NW2 3BP from 2pm to 6pm. It’s a tranquil oasis with island beds, deeply planted borders and a mini-woodland area with rhododendrons, ferns and hostas. Admission £3.50, children free. http://www.thegardennw2.co.uk/page2.htm
Then on Sunday, July 13 we have three local openings, with a combined entry ticket of £7.
-- Jim and Elayne’s garden at 58a Teignmouth Rd, NW2 4DX, has evolved over the past eight years to become a haven for bees and wildflowers. There’s a lily pond with frogs and newts and a large pergola covered with wisteria, climbing roses and clematis.The garden was recently filmed for a future television series and has wheelchair access. http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/find-a-garden/garden.aspx?id=22805
-- Helen’s garden at 121 Anson Rd, NW2 4AH, open from 2pm – 5.30pm, is a lush country-style creation brimming with colour and year-round interest and surrounded by mature trees and shrubs. There are more details at http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/find-a-garden/garden.aspx?id=21189
-- The third garden, at 27 Menelik Road, is also open from 2pm to 5.30 pm. It has an Oriental corner with 'cha shit su' (tea house), large twisted robinia, pagoda and cloud pruned trees. The piazza is enclosed by formal bay trees, lush hostas and banana plant. http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/find-a-garden/garden.aspx?id=25276
Happy garden visiting!