Tintinhull gardens

We were shown around the gardens by Clare the tour guide and Megan, new head gardener of 8 months.

Tintinhull garden is a small arts and crafts garden set out around a beautiful 17th century house.

The garden was first laid out by Dr. Salisbury Murray Price in the early 1900′s, he created the stone flagstone paths and topiary, linking the garden paths and vistas to the house.

Phyllis Reiss (1933-1962) developed the garden structure and planting. Inspired by Hidcote Manor, she created of a series of ‘garden rooms’ using vistas and focal points. Phyllis aimed to create a space of peace and tranquility.

The garden was further developed by Penelope Hobhouse who was a tenant during the 1980′s.

Today, new head gardener Megan, is leading a major restoration of the garden borders, replanting more in the style of Phyllis than Penelope.

Eagle garden – blues & creams. Big tubs of Lilium regale beneath bedroom windows (despite the bane of lily beetle which is controlled by hand rather than chemical).

Middle garden – mixed shrubs for foliage and texture. Scilla planted underneath the huge holm oaks (dry shade & honey fungus problem). Key plants that caught our eye here were beautiful double pink and double purple forms of Rosa spinosissma, Spirea thunbergii ‘Aurea’, which contrasted well with Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’.

Fountain garden – a white garden which is believed to have been the inspiration for Rita Sackville West’s infamous white garden at Sissinghurt (Rita & Phyllis being friends). Phyllis’ was not a trained horticulturist, she planted for ‘decoration’ and ‘emotional effect’ and would use swathes of white forget-me-not which were considered a weed.

Examples of plants in this garden included: Digitalis, Campanula, Astrantia, Anenome japonica, Geranium, Penstemon, Aconitum, Hosta, Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Kitchen garden – this was a key part of the garden which was developed by Penelope Hobhouse, making it beautiful and something that wasn’t to be hidden away. This is a no dig, organic garden with 4 tons of compost added this year (alternate years mushroom compost is added).  https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk/

A lovely golden herb planting of golden marjoram, green sage, rosemary, thyme, chives & chamomile.

Walk through / vista lined with Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, Penstemon ‘Garnet’ and roses

Pool garden & summerhouse – Purple elders, white peonies, foxgloves, roses, Stachyls lanata, Dahlia merkii

Cedar court – a combination of honey fungus and dry shade create a challenge for planting beneath the Magnolia trees, Megan recommends Dryopteris erythrosa, Omphalodes, Disporum,Epimedium. However there were several other plants in these borders which were being trialled as they are not normally grown in dry shade (e.g. Gillenia, Tricyrtis, Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’)

A stunning border of Iris siberica ‘Flight of the Butterfly’ & Allium christophii lined a path. Once the Iris foliage dies back Stipa tenuissima will be added.

In this garden the herbaceous borders have been newly replanted with Allium atropurpureum, Alllium ‘Purple Sensation’, Stipa gigantea, blue Iris, Salvia nemorosa, Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’, Miscanthus, Aconitum, puple Sedum, around existing shrubs of Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’, Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’, Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’, golden hop,

Other plants that caught our eye:
Allium ‘Atropurpureum’
Voodoo lily – Dracunculus vulgaris
Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’


Notes by Angela Morley   www.wildgardens.co.uk