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Visit Frimley Green Gardens 2014

PUBLISHED: 12:08 18 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:18 18 August 2014

Susan adds decorative details in her garden at Tabor

Susan adds decorative details in her garden at Tabor

Archant

This month, we visit three gardens in Frimley Green, each with their own special character, and opening together through the National Gardens Scheme this summer

Frimley Green Gardens

Frimley, GU16 6HE

Open on Wednesday August 27, 2-5pm

Combined admission £5, children free

See ngs.org.uk

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It’s always great value to visit a group of smaller gardens in one village, and in Frimley Green there will be the opportunity to do just that later this month when three garden owners will welcome you into their personal creations for the afternoon.

Be inspired by designer chic and a wonderful use of a tiny space at ‘Tabor’, immerse yourself in the romantic style of ‘Wildwood’ and stroll the lawns bounded by colour and texture at ‘Oakleigh’.

This little garden collective first opened their gates through the National Gardens Scheme last year, and following the success of that event are looking forward to opening again to visitors on Wednesday August 27.

Here, we meet each of the owners to find out a bit more about what they have in store for us...

 

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Small is beautiful

At her home ‘Tabor’, Susan Filbin has created a manicured and creative garden in a small space of 75ft by 50ft.

Her design includes clipped topiary, potted colour, an unusual water feature, arches, seating, cobbled areas and neat borders around an immaculate tiny lawn. Quirky decorative details give personality to the scene, from an array of twirling hearts dangling from a tree to mirrors that reflect the garden to suspended containers.

“My garden is a wonderful mish-mash of many things,” says Susan. “It’s my greatest love – after my two sons – and a huge solace after the death six years ago of my husband. I adore it with a passion.”

It’s certainly a fascinating little garden to visit, and will be of particular interest to anyone looking for inspiration for a smaller space.

 

Get the look:

Susan’s tips…

Never be afraid to experiment

Plant in pots – that way, you can change the layout of your garden whenever you wish

Expand your garden with illusion, such as mirrors

Include architectural structure for winter interest

Plant what you like, not what you feel is expected

 

A peaceful haven

Keen gardeners Annie and Richard Keighley had often seen the charming ‘gingerbread cottage’ of ‘Wildwood’ on their walks in the village and in 2004 the opportunity arose to buy the property.

“The house has been a key influence, as has the name, and we hope the garden remains in keeping,” says Annie.

Pastel borders fringe the lawn, with roses, pink mallows and buddleia, leading down past a small wildlife pond and under arches of roses to a delightfully quirky potager of raised beds, scrambling vines, spires of hollyhocks and fragrant sweet peas.

“We both come from families of garden fanatics, some still going in their eighties!” adds Annie. “Many of our plants have a history as cuttings or gifts and conjure up memories of friends and places visited.”

Visit them later this month and you can also enjoy a home-made tea too.

 

Get the look:

Annie’s tips…

Plant for succession of interest

Let the perennials fill out the borders then ‘weed’ them back to give shape

Plant focal plants in plastic pots that fit inside containers so you can easily swop them around

Grow a mix of old and new roses on obelisks and arches to combine shape with repeat flowering

Use plastic raised vegetable beds but disguise with painted decking

 

Organic diversity

The relaxed, organic garden at ‘Oakleigh’ has evolved under the care of Angela and Graham O’Connell.

Curvaceous borders of shrubs and flowers frame the narrow first part of the garden, and then, as the plot widens out, they broaden too. At the top of the garden there is a summer- house and kitchen garden set behind a neat little picket fence. There are little surprises to discover, too, such as a ‘green man’ head by local artist Jerry Tirrell.

“We have learnt our way through the last 25 years with lots of good fortune and more than a few mistakes,” says Angela. “As each new plant is given a new home, the garden changes a little, like a child growing up.”

To see the garden in all its summer finery, be sure to go along to the opening later this month.

 

Get the look:

Angela’s tips…

To ensure you have the right plant in the right place, not only look at the labels but also check online or in a book as well

Also check for soil type, eventual size, hardiness, colour and the flowering time

Keep the new plant in its pot initially and pop it in the border for a day or two before planting to make sure you are happy that it will fit in

Highlight plants for August include asters, hydrangea paniculata, agapanthus, sanguisorbas, grasses, heuchera, nandina and acers

Add little surprises to the garden such as a sculpture by a local artist

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