Recently I went on a garden tour to Britain. Why? Well, that's actually a good question as we all know that if I want to look at scrumptiously gorgeous gardens I can do it here at my leisure in my own country, the Netherlands, where we have oodles of them as every gardener knows. Well, every gardener worth his/her salt, that is.
So why did I bother to be bussed and shuttled across vast distances just to look at a bunch of British gardens? Well, for one thing, it's always good to check on what your neighbours are up to and, for another, I had heard a rumour that there were actually some decent gardens to be found in Britain. I know, I know, rather a concept of the very mind boggling kind but still worth checking up on. So off I went to see, among others, this garden.
And, as gardens go, this one was not too bad but it did have rather shabby old doors that could do with a lick of paint,
crazy paving which is much cheaper than buying enough paving slabs to lay a decent looking path,
a very ancient weather vane (1839? Hello, this is the 21 century!),
very old and crumbling walls, in dire need of a spot of re-pointing as plants were growing in its cracks (shocking, innit?),
and peeling paint, the skin flints! Not bothering to keep the place from crumbling down our ears but very good at charging obscene amounts of money for entrance fees. I feel a hissy fit coming on so high time to change the subject.
I haven't told you yet that 2 days before I went on my garden tour my old camera broke down (panic stations everyone!) so I had to buy a new one and learn how to use it in just 1 day. As you know, I am rather fearless and in possession of a very large brain so I did manage to learn in time how to manage my new camera. Whew!
With my new camera, complete with huge memory card, I can take 3,236 pics in one go. Not too shabby and 3,236 pics would be just about enough for a short garden tour. Not surprisingly, I love to experiment with my new camera, as shown in the pic above, so yours truly was happily snapping away and in the process besting a whole busload of Japanese tourists in taking the biggest amount of pics in the shortest possible time.
There, I feel all calmer now, so enough of my new camera and my fantastically wonderful photography, let's continue with showing you this garden. As you can see they not only have crazy paving but crazy plant training as well. I get dizzy just looking at it. Fig torture, the latest craze in gardening!
It was rather a relief to find that they actually did have some very nice borders and stuff in this garden. Or so it seemed at first but then I stumbled upon this:
a great big gaping hole in the planting. What a let down, especially when you take into consideration that they have an army of gardeners here to maintain the garden. In a way it's heartening though for the amateur gardener when a professionally ran garden, famous throughout the world (or so they claim), shows vast gaping holes like that.
A vast hole of a different and much prettier kind
BTW have you figured out which garden it is yet? Apparently it's an icon of the garden variety and it draws a quarter of a million visitors yearly. Frightfully shocking those herds of visitors stampeding the garden, wouldn't you say? So glad that my own garden isn't subjected to that kind of treatment on a yearly basis.
Also of the shocking was coming upon this (almost) nekkid chap in the shrubbery quite unexpectedly. It gave me quite a turn, I can tell you. Nekkid men in the garden, what is the world coming to? And I was very much right in checking up on my neighbours as they had, horror of horrors, another nekkid chap that was actually admiring himself in the moat.
The brazen whatsit, even though he's made of marble! Gentle reader, I hope you are as appalled as I am by all this flagrant and gratuitous nekkidness.
But now ...... the big reveal (perhaps an unfortunate choice of words with all those nekkid chaps about) ......
Yes, you've guessed it : Sissinghurst!
And from now on there's no need to throw a hissy fit caused by garden envy when at Sissinghurst as yours truly has shown you how very far from perfect this garden actually is. There's no need to thank me, your bill is in the mail!
Dr YE, world leader in the prevention of hissy fits in gardeners
copyright 2009: Y.E.W. Heuzen