Midney Gardens5th June 2014
We were wet before we even set foot in the garden but as we did and the drenching rain continued to fall so the performance began – this is a theatrical garden.
The puddling rain added realism to the seaside garden but above its hammering on our umbrellas you could hear gasps of surprise and wonder from the brave few who turned up for this visit. I liked the symbolism of the clock in the first garden, made up with old springs and rusting metal found on site during the site clearance. Planted with thymes representing the ticking away of endless minutes, the days of our lives, how time stops when we are enjoying ourselves (in the garden), the incessant growth activity (plant and animal) in the garden, the steady turn of the seasons – time and life inseparable.
Our gasps continued as our trail of multicoloured umbrellas wove their way around the garden and the rain seeped in through our waterproof jackets and jeans. The ‘ripples on a pond’ lawn were very appropriate that evening.
This is a new garden, started in 2009 and opened in 2012, its long, narrow shape cleverly disguised into a series of subtly themed areas seamlessly flowing from one into another. David and Alison have created a unique garden infused with a sense of theatre, humour, edibles and beautiful planting. This is as much a plantsman’s garden as a garden for wildlife and I defy you not to come away uninspired.
The cold got into our fingers towards the end of the visit so tea, cake and plant purchases will have to be for another visit. The garden is open 11am-5pm Thursday-Sunday, lots more information at: www.midneygardens.co.uk
Tips & Ideas
- The creation of the ‘yellow’ garden was determined by the position of an existing large golden leylandii
- Parnips are allowed to seed, the flowers are good for wildlife and the seed is collected to be sown the following year
- Radish are allowed to seed, the young pods are eaten instead of the root, as done in many parts of the world
- Chop suey greens (Chrysanthemum coronarium) is an attractive plant, seed readily available from seed companies, rich in minerals, anti oxidants and vitamins. Eat the leaves raw in salads or in stir fry.
- Tree stakes were painted in places to complement a particular theme or stem colour
- Orlaya grandiflora – a lovely hardy annual rather like cow parsley but shorter and showier flowers.
- Caper spurge (the weed) looks good planted with red orach (edible)
notes by Angela Morley www.wildgardens.co.uk