|The Italian Garden|
|Cosmos Purity & Verbena bonariense|
|Waterlilies - not sure which one|
|Phyllostachys Aurea - is this right?|
|Colour in the sub-tropical link|
|Some great topiary in the Italian Garden|
|Rhododendron sino-grande - great foliage even without flowers.|
During the early 20C, Gertrude Jekyll was at her most influential, designing gardens which moved away from Victorian formality towards looser co-ordinated planting. She often utilised themes borders or specific gardens. Hidcote Manor Gardens were developed from around 1910 and Sissinghurst was made in the 1930's but both laid out as a series of garden 'rooms'. Both were innovative in their time and looked forward to new landscape styles but Compton Acres, although similar with its different themed compartments, seems to look back to the 19C.
|A corner of the Japanese garden - rather too luxuriant for Japanese formality|
|The rock garden - great scale but needing over-hauling|
|The heather garden - needs some good summer cultivars|
Over the years the gardens have exchanged ownership and passed through various phases of neglect and refurbishment. Currently the gardens are well maintained but there is little sign of ongoing development and major restoration. Some gardens such as the Japanese garden, rock garden and heather garden would benefit from major overhauls.The bedding in the Italian garden is very formal and traditional but rightly so and exhibits some good colour schemes and well grown plants. It would appear that more has been spent in recent years on the fine cafes and gift shops than the garden itself. The plant centre had a tantalizing array of plant, particularly frustrating as being en route to the USA, I could buy nothing. And I just have to have a colour co-ordinated designer wheelbarrow.
|I just love the colour - do you think they'd ship to the USA?|
Curiously the gardens were offered for sale in 2011 with an asking price of £5M. (Must remember to buy my lottery tickets!) Sadly the periphery of the garden is very built-up with tall blocks of flats and there is reference on-line to planning permission granted in 2009 for a hotel on some of Compton's land. Does one detect a financial problem? And yes the tea rooms were worth the visit - Philip started on the chilled Pinot Grigio whilst I took more photos, then I joined him for a glass of bubbly and a slice of raspberry roulade! By the way, this garden is open free for RHS members so remember your ticket if you visit - I hadn't!