Friday, 8 August 2008

Annual Event

Yesterday I visited Chenies Manor in Buckinghamshire to write a feature on the gardens for the Autumn edition of Buckinghamshire Life. The gardens have been developed over the last 50+ years and surround the magnificent Manor House which dates from Tudor times. They've just finished filming Little Dorrit there for the BBC.

What impressed me in the gardens was the use of annuals to great effect. The layout is of separate garden rooms enclosed by neatly trimmed hedges which give a slightly formal feel but complimented by deep beds filled with frothy annuals like Cosmos, Argyranthemum and Nicotiana. I liked this feathery approach, particularly as the colour scheme was mostly white and pale pink with a few intense splashes of deeper pink here and there. Elsewhere, dahlias are used en masse to create hot and bright in-your-face colour. Personally I prefer to mix my dahlias and not have them in such big clumps, but the effect works very well at Chenies Manor. In spring, 6,000 tulips bloom over three to four weeks, a splendid sight. Chenies Manor is open from early April until the end of October and well worth a visit.

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