The English Country Garden is an oasis of green lawn bordered by three large beds. It is located beside the main entrance gate and resembles a dignified country estate in Britain.
The long west bed palette runs in sequence from hot reds through gold and yellow to cool blues among three pyramid obelisks. Fragrant winter flowering shrubs, hellebores, and spring bulbs grow in the shady oak tree bed alongside the driveway. The burgundy leaves of ligularia are surrounded by a river of red astibe in early summer.
The lush sunny white bed has green and silver foliage with spires of white flowers and ornamental grasses, peonies, cistus, and romneya to provide texture and fragrance. Cosmos and dahlias bloom all summer. The tall, shimmering leaves of the peanut butter plant, melianthus major, anchor either end.
This garden now has more than 350 species of trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennial flowers with a peak bloom time of June – September. Planting is based on the spectrum of colours in an artists’ colour wheel, devised by the noted English garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). Working from March to November, two teams of four to six volunteers provide almost 1,000 hours of work yearly.