Somerfloss Garden

Part of the original Ashwick Grove Estate, Somerfloss is a garden nestled at the end of a long narrow valley with spectacular rock formations just off the A367 north of Oakhill.  The garden, with its open layout included woodland, rockery, meadow and traditional border plantings and although distinct from each other, the spring flowers linked each area seamlessly.

Plants that were of note during our evening visit included:

  • Bowles golden grass – Milium effusum ‘Aureum’ which self seeds around the garden gently
  • Aster divaricatus – useful ground cover perennial with masses of tiny white daisy flowers late summer and into the autumn
  • Jeffersonia – Flowers March/ April with small blue or white saucer shaped flowers, best grown in moist, humus rich, well-drained, limestone soils in part shade, it also
    tolerates full shade
  • The ferny purple new shoots of Actaea simplex ‘James Compton’
  • Rubus cockburnianus ‘Goldenvale’ – related to the bramble with a waxy bloom on its arching stems and sometimes evergreen golden foliage, makes a stunning plant for the winter garden but needs cutting down every spring
  • Ramonda – an evergreen rockery plant for shady wall, blue flowers in spring

The garden, created over the past 20 years by its current owners, Rosemary and Ewan, is dominated by a very interesting 1970’s house perched half way down the side of the valley against a backdrop of natural rock.  Native semi mature trees provide shelter and frame every view; on the exposed rocks, their grey roots cling to the hillside adding to the drama of this huge rockery.  There is an overriding naturalistic approach to the planting and layout of this garden, particularly in spring, it is a garden that sits well in its landscape.

Notes by Angela Morley