<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

A celebration of dahlias at Odstock garden in Bletchingley

PUBLISHED: 11:02 21 July 2017

Containers dot the small patio

Containers dot the small patio

Archant

At Odstock in Bletchingley, Averil and John Trott have developed a real plantsman’s garden over more than 40 years and specialise in dahlias

John and Averil have created a lovely garden John and Averil have created a lovely garden

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2017

***

Share your Surrey gardens photography at www.surreylife.co.uk/photos

***

Need to know

Odstock, Bletchingley, Surrey RH1 4LB.

Visitors welcome by arrangement May to September for groups 10+.

Light refreshments by prior arrangement.

Admission: £5, children free.

Contact: 01883 743100 / ngs.org.uk

***

The dahlia is one of the best plants to grow for summer through autumn interest, especially when planted in combination with grasses and perennials. A visit to Odstock, in Bletchingley, is sure to inspire, with owners Averil and John Trott’s special interest in these showy flowers, as well as grasses and climbers. The two-thirds-of-an-acre plot has been lovingly maintained and developed for all year-round interest and opens through the National Garden Scheme by arrangement from May to September. I particularly like July and August, when the dahlias are at their peak, their jewel bright colours drawing the eye behind neatly hedged borders.

“We have lived here for over 40 years, inheriting a large area of grass, some vegetables and a rose bed,” says Averil. “As the children no longer required it for play, the garden has gradually evolved. We maintain it ourselves – John with his interest in dahlias, the lawn and runner beans and I do the rest and have a particular passion for climbers, shrubs, acers, grasses and ferns.”

The garden is charmingly traditional with expanses of beautifully cared for lawns and curving borders, a rose and clematis walk, shrub beds, seating beckoning under the shade of mature trees and a no-dig vegetable plot. In addition there are some Japanese touches with stone lanterns amongst shady ferns and cloud-pruned conifers, inspired by visits to Japan, as well as far-reaching views to the Chanctonbury Ring on a fine day.

Dahlia love

John’s interest in dahlias was inspired by his father, who grew many varieties for pleasure and to enter in local horticultural shows, while Averil finds dahlias invaluable for her flower arranging. They are presented here in a long border edged in low buxus, a touch of formality enclosing the tapestry of warm-toned dahlias with billowing ornamental grasses such as miscanthus and brightly coloured crocosmias. The array of types includes large waterlily and cactus shapes, striped varieties and smaller open single blooms. Conifers, purple leafed Cercis canadensis and Cotinus coggygria, along with euonymus and vines provide a foil to the rich hues.

Averil has a wide interest in plants and her collection of grasses adds cohesion to the broad palette of plants throughout the garden. As with all gardens the evolution is on-going and she enjoys making changes and adaptations to enhance the space. “Tough negotiations take place over the whittling away of the lawns as the plants grow or a new one is acquired,” she smiles. The couple clearly enjoy sharing their pleasure for gardening with visitors, who are made to feel welcome in this informal and relaxed garden. Gather a like-minded group together and make an appointment to view this summer.

***

Top 5

Bishop of Llandaff: red with dark foliage

Moonfire: yellow with dark leaves

Park Princess: pink, mini semi-cactus

David Howard: clear orange, dark foliage

Ludwig Helfert: orange, cactus form

Get the look

• Expanses of lawn with island borders

• Formal touches within an informal space

• Framework from trees and evergreen shrubs

• Infill from annuals and perennials

• Plants allowed to self-seed

• Dahlias planted en masse

Dahlia tips

• Select a sunny sheltered spot with well-drained soil

• Dahlias are surface feeders

• Stake at planting

• Water through summer at root level

• Deadhead spent flowers

• Cut back at frost and mulch or lift tubers

• Dry store tubers until March, then pot up, water and grow on in the greenhouse

• Plant out in mid-May

Did you know?

• Dahlias are called ‘the flower of a thousand faces’ as a hybrid that readily changes its face and form

• Originate from Central America

• 10 classification groups

• The first tubers arrived in Europe in the 18th century

• Plants range from dwarf bedders to giant with flowers as large as a dinner plate

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Friday, November 10, 2017

See our breakdown of Surrey’s districts and compare how much a square metre of land costs in your area. You might be surprised...

Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017

A restaurateur with a passion for gardening, French chef Raymond Blanc is set to jump out of the frying pan and into the perennials to open the 25th RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show.

Read more
Friday, September 1, 2017

Sash windows are an integral feature of British architectural history, first making an appearance in the late 17th century and continuing to be popular ever since. Whether your property is traditional, modern or rustic, Jack Brunsdon & Son’s sash windows are a versatile and timeless option.

Read more
Friday, July 21, 2017

At Odstock in Bletchingley, Averil and John Trott have developed a real plantsman’s garden over more than 40 years and specialise in dahlias

Read more
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Keen plantswoman Penny Drew has created a tranquil oasis at Earleywood in Frensham, near Farnham. Leigh Clapp visits to discover more about her award-winning garden

Read more
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A love of Liberty fabrics and the idea of being able to create something from that fabric motivates designer Amy Hunt of Willa & Bobbin. Janet Donin meets her at home in Reigate

Read more
Monday, June 26, 2017

A look at some of the issues arising in relation to second homes or investment properties

Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

As she continues her ventures out and about in Surrey, this month, bestselling author Adele Parks drags her husband to one of Europe’s best antiques markets

Read more
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Traditionally crafted wardrobe designs blended with luxury modern style and The Heritage Wardrobe Company go hand in hand as their designers work with you to understand your storage needs

Read more
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

British heritage brand, Jack Brunsdon & Son, understands the importance of exterior design and takes great pride in their unrivalled collection of doors. Each order is bespoke and carefully designed to enhance the architectural integrity and value of your home.

Read more
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Andy Smith, Surrey branch director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, takes us to one of Surrey’s most precious, yet undervalued, heritage assets – Painshill in Cobham – and explains why its peace and tranquillity could now be at risk

Read more
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

With a decade of gardening journalism and a host of award-winning landscape designs to his name, Dan Pearson’s latest book is chock-full of insights gained from a successful career at the forefront of global horticulture, which began at the sprawling RHS Garden Wisley

Read more
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The passing away of well¬known Surrey resident Mary Wondrausch OBE, on Boxing Day last year, created a high demand from those wishing to own a piece of her work. The exhibition of her work at The Watts Gallery in February, subsequently sold out very quickly

Read more
Monday, May 22, 2017

A newcomer to the National Gardens Scheme this year, Shamley Wood Estate is tucked away in the Surrey Hills near Guildford

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Surrey Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search