We like to use our imagination when it comes to the naming of our gardens at Polesden Lacey. The garden in the photo below is full of lavenders, so we call it the ‘Lavender garden’, the next-door garden is full of irises, so we call it the ‘Iris garden’ and the border that leads to these gardens is full of peonies, so we call it the ‘Peony border’ Yep, we’re geniuses in the ‘garden naming’ skills-set.
When I joined Polesden Lacey a few years ago, there was an annual display of bedding plants that got slotted into the central, circular bed each spring. Although this is the traditional Edwardian style, I didn’t feel it quite had the wow-factor. So we went for another popular Edwardian concept…a thyme lawn. I am so pleased with the results. Not only does this reduce labour and money each year as we aren’t constantly buying new bedding plants and planting them out, but also, we now have a permanent evergreen structure in the garden.
And of course, lavender and thyme are the perfect compliment to each other. I adore the deep, rich blue of the Hidcote blue lavender and the golden yellow of the thyme. It’s like the sea and the sand, or the sky and the beach. A perfect colour combination that makes me feel happy.
Despite 300,000 visitors a year, the garden is always peaceful and quiet. The colours are rich and soothing, but it is the aroma of lavender and thyme, that has the most relaxing and peaceful affect. The fragrance washes over you, and because of the walls and hedges, the scent is captured like an intense bouquet of flowers and concentrated in the small space. If you’ve had a stressful day, sit here, watch the buzzing bees, and take a few deep breaths. You’ll soon find your worries left far, far behind and a rejuvenated strength to take on whatever life throws at you…