CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Vann garden in Hambledon and Gertrude Jekyll

PUBLISHED: 16:24 19 March 2013 | UPDATED: 17:50 17 March 2015

The beautiful Vann garden in Hambledon

The beautiful Vann garden in Hambledon

Archant

Pay a visit to the much-admired garden at Vann in Hambledon, delightful in spring with its glow of massed bulbs, blossom on the bough and fresh emerging foliage – not to mention a unique water garden created by the legendary Gertrude Jekyll...

Words and photography Leigh Clapp

***

 

With origins dating back to the 16th century, the sprawling house at Vann in Hambledon, added to by successive owners over the centuries, is deserving of a special setting – and it certainly has one. Its beautiful Arts and Crafts style garden, with elements by Gertrude Jekyll, perfectly befits both the architecture and the lovely secluded surroundings.

“The house is steeped in history,” says owner Mary Caröe. “The most recent additions, in 1907, were by my late husband’s grandfather, WD Caröe, the renowned ecclesiastical architect and a major figure in the Arts and Crafts movement.”

 

A Jekyll highlight

Owned by the Caröe family for around a hundred years, the house has a five-acre garden, spreading out from three sides of the property, and is divided loosely into different areas with yew hedges and structured beds. By the house, the style is more formal, before extending out to the naturalistic woodland.

A particular highlight is the unique water garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll, who paid a visit to the estate, from her nearby home of Munstead Wood, in 1911.

Despite writing about informal water gardens, this is believed to be the only water garden Jekyll ever designed, laid out and planted – which makes it a real gem for us here in Surrey.

Leading from the house to the large quarter-acre pond, from where the water cascades to a succession of smaller ponds, is a striking stone pergola, underplanted with lime-green euphorbias, nodding hellebores and spring bulbs. At the ponds themselves, you’ll find massed water-loving plants, originally supplied by Jekyll and now increased and naturalised, including the original 50 fritillaries that have become drifts of hundreds. There are also carpets of daffodils and meandering paths and bridges to enjoy while soaking up the atmosphere of this tranquil garden.

 

A labour of love

Since Mary and her late husband Martin moved to Vann in 1969, the gardens have been gradually restored and are maintained beautifully. Weeds and brambles were cleared, hedges reshaped and plants added. Keeping to the ethos of Jekyll, and the Arts and Crafts movement generally, guides the garden’s evolution.

“The Yew Walk, with a rill and twin borders enclosed by tall hedges, is reminiscent of Jekyll and Lutyens’ work at Hestercombe,” adds Mary. “In fact, that is particularly special in spring, with massed crocuses, pulmonarias and erysimums.”

***

Need to know:

Vann, Hambledon GU8 4EF. Open every Wednesday from April to July. Admission £5, children free. For more information, see vanngarden.co.uk

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 10:06

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

Read more
Thu, 11:11

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Thu, 00:00

To mark the appointment of Peter Estlin, a former head boy at King Edward’s Witley, as new Lord Mayor of the City of London, Surrey Life has joined forces with the 400-pupil school to give away two tickets to the Lord Mayor’s Show on 10 November plus an overnight stay in London

Read more
Wed, 14:33

With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional

Read more
Tue, 10:51

Wrap up in your favourite coat and scarf, grab your sparklers and a warming drink, and enjoy one of these fantastic firework displays taking place in Surrey for bonfire night

Read more
Tue, 10:49

Home to outstanding architecture, ambitious community projects and arts ventures that are putting these villages firmly on the map, East and West Horsley are among our county’s most desirable addresses

Read more
Tue, 10:43

Chertsey’s best-kept secret, the Great Cockcrow Railway, steamed into a half-century this year

Read more
Tue, 10:34

A taste of Korea has swept into the beautiful market town of Godalming as Bada sets out its stall with a tapas-style fusion of seafood, traditional dishes and spice

Read more
Mon, 16:06

With friendship as the central theme in Adele Parks’ new book, Zoe Richards met up with the bestselling author and her publisher, Kate Mills, to find out how these two Surrey dwellers have discovered a successful working relationship, and become firm friends too

Read more
Mon, 11:37

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

Read more
Mon, 00:00

As the twilight falls, the magic begins… There’s something for everyone at Christmas at Kew – and we’re giving you the chance to win one of five family tickets for two adults and two children to the Preview Night of Christmas at Kew on Wednesday 21 November 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Good table manners have long been a source of national pride but in this modern age of social media are our longstanding traditions being left behind? Rebecca Younger visits the stately Beaverbrook estate for a lesson in British etiquette

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching! We pick some of the best events to celebrate Halloween in Surrey

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search