I wrote a post or two back on my visit to Arley Arboretum. What some people don’t realise is that Arley also has a garden, albeit on a much smaller scale than the arboretum. I showed you the Italian Garden in the previous post but on the other side of the working area there are herbaceous borders and the magnolia garden. Despite this obviously not being the right time of year for Magnolias I found this area fascinating. The borders are edged in box; I’m not a fan of lots of box edging as I sometimes think it detracts from the planting by dominating the view but in this case I think the box edging was sufficiently robust enough to provide a good counterpoint to the shrubs and small trees planted either side of the path.
Whilst it is called the Magnolia Garden there are lots of other shrubs predominately Acers and Hydrangeas which provide good texture and contrast. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of the fiery Acers against the lichen covered Magnolias.
You then pass through an arch in the wall to the Herbaceous Borders. They were definitely not at their best and from the plants I could recognise I think they will be gorgeous in the early summer next year.
However adjacent to the borders is what appears to be a new area of planting (it’s not on the map) where there are borders of grasses. I suppose you would describe the borders as organic in shape. The borders are purely grasses which I found quite fascinating. I discovered some grasses which really liked and others that I really don’t think are right for my garden.
I found it quite amusing as there was a lady in this area who appeared to be a professional photographer. She had lots of equipment, tripod etc and was spending ages and ages taking close-ups of one particular grass. I felt quite self-conscious with my point and click camera but I doubt she even noticed me!
You then find yourself in the working part of the garden with numerous glasshouses full of tenders, presumably ready for planting out next spring. From here you find yourself adjacent to the plant sales and tea room and not long after a little poorer!!