Permission to land at Heathside garden in Cobham

PUBLISHED: 19:57 30 July 2014 | UPDATED: 20:05 30 July 2014

The vista across the parterre

The vista across the parterre

Archant

Created by a delightful couple, Margaret Arnott and Terry Bartholomew, who met when they were working as cabin crew for British Airways, the garden at Heathside in Cobham is a beautiful landscape

Need to know…

Heathside

Cobham KT11 2QH

Visitors welcome by appointment and NGS openings.

Find out more at ngs.org.uk

 

***

 

 

***

 

Having worked together on board Concorde, it’s fair to say that Margaret Arnott and Terry Bartholomew now enjoy a rather more sedate pace of life tending the beautiful garden of their bungalow home in Cobham.

Since retiring from British Airways a few years ago, the couple have certainly made the most of every moment in their garden.

“After a career of working as cabin crew, which was lots of people and no fresh air, we now have lots of fresh air and no people!” laughs Margaret. “We also have a garden that looks beautiful every day of the year and we can normally find a flower in bloom every day of the year too.”

Set on a south-facing slope with sandy soil and an open sunny aspect, the third-of-an-acre plot was essentially a blank canvas on which they could really put their stamp. Working with a tight budget, yet boundless enthusiasm, the transformation began. Much of the garden needed to be rotovated, soil moved to create terraced levels with retaining walls, lawn grown from seed, and paths and steps put in. 



New plant palette

The only plants that remained were a monkey puzzle tree, a holly, an amelanchier and a laurel, so there was also the challenge of totally planting the space. Guiding the decisions was an aim to create a garden of year- round interest, with exuberant planting mixed with formality.

“The monkey puzzle tree produces seed every year, which my father then grows into new trees in the garden,” adds Margaret.

Whereas Margaret already had a passion for gardening inspired by her parents, for Terry it has become an interest honed over the process of creating their vision.

“I design the layout and planting, while Terry builds everything needed to enhance this, such as making metal obelisks to use as plant supports,” says Margaret.

To give a structural framework to the garden, they planted lots of evergreens, such as pittosporum, photinia, choisya, pyracantha and yew, put a parterre at the top of the garden using box grown from cuttings, built a small pond and widened the patio by the house for entertaining. Terry also hand-built a garden shed and summerhouse, and two greenhouses were added to the garden for growing on cuttings.

Selecting the floral infill was guided by the very dry soil with lots of sumptuous, easy-care choices such as daisies, phlox, rudbeckias and poppies. At this time of year, herbaceous perennials are found in abundance, along with urns brimming with colourful begonias and pelargoniums.

“Inspiration has come from visits since childhood to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows as well as the late Christopher Lloyd’s love of bold colours,” says Margaret.

After entering the first ever BBC Gardener of the Year in 2000 and being selected as a regional finalist, Margaret and Terry decided to open their garden through the National Gardens Scheme the following year and now welcome visitors annually to share in their creation.



Open to visitors

“We are so happy to contribute to charity and enjoy meeting garden lovers – and those who do not know they love it yet!” says Margaret. “They particularly enjoy walking around the many paths, the view from the summerhouse, the green lawn, the 52 varieties of hostas in pots with no holes in the leaves and the enormous amount of colour!

“The one thing they always say is that they cannot believe that we have done the garden all ourselves with no help!”

 

***

 

Get the look...

• Create terraced levels with retaining walls

• Design an evergreen structure with shrubs

• Clip topiary into shapes such as spheres and spirals

• Choose flowers for each season, from spring bulbs to late perennials

• Group containers together for maximum impact

• Use urns and obelisks as focal points of the garden

• Create little areas of interest

• Place seating to take in the vistas

• Add water features for a relaxing, tranquil sound

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 12:54

We pick out five Surrey-based itineraries, each packed with great places to visit indoors, to get you through a rainy day.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:13

As the 2018 Miss Surrey, Weybridge model Destiny Sedlacek spends her weekends promoting the county and raising awareness of a rare genetic disorder she is battling

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

Students across Surrey have been finding out how they got on in their A levels

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

We visited Squires Kitchen in Farnham to learn some tips from Surrey’s master chocolatier

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

To board or not to board is a big decision for any family to make. Although boarding environments can offer an excellent solution to the difficulties of juggling two demanding careers, working parents can still feel pressured to keep their children at home. The old image of bleak dormitories and cold showers still persists, but the traditional boarding environment is very much changed.

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Professional matchmaker Hayley Bystram discusses how to overcome the challenges of returning to dating in mid-life and later

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Here, we bring you 25 things we learnt from The Little Book of Surrey that you probably didn’t know about the area – well, there’s certainly a few that caught us out anyway...

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Conveniently perched along the Basingstoke Canal and Wey Navigation, West Byfleet is surrounded by some of the area’s top tourist attractions and home to a growing food and drink empire...

Read more
Monday, August 13, 2018

Guildford-based West End vocal coach Steven Luke Walker has launched a new community choir. He talks about Meat Loaf, The Greatest Showman and period drama

Read more
Monday, August 13, 2018

Adele Parks ticks off an activity from her bucket list and learns how to throw a pot

Read more
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Family owned and managed nursing home, Birtley House, welcomed the Mayor for Mayen-Koblenz, a district in Germany that has been twinned with Waverley Borough Council since 1977, on a visit to Surrey in which he was looking to learn about best practice within the UK’s care sector.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Come along to the UK’s leading French property show which returns to Olympia London on 16-17 September

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search