Gardens Illustrated
The Cornfield: An energy efficient home of Larry Went
© Claire Takacs

Gardens from the archive: Lose yourself in our favourites

Published: March 31, 2020 at 6:43 pm

We delve into the Gardens Illustrated archive to share some of our favourite gardens from the comfort of your own home

Spring is usually one of the peak visiting times for gardens. But gardens around the world have closed their doors in response to the coronavirus social distancing guidelines. So to try to provide you with your garden fix from the comfort and safety of your own home, we've pulled together a selection of astonishing gardens featured on the pages of the Gardens Illustrated magazine that the Gardens Illustrated team love. Lose yourself in the images below.

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Chippenham Park in Cambridge
© Richard Bloom

Deryck Body's farmhouse garden in Kent

This gorgeous farmhouse garden appeared in September's issue of Gardens Illustrated in 2015. One acre in size, it was created by retired farmer Deryck Body, who made pretty much everything on the site, from fences to the jam.

"Anything he needs, Deryck makes himself using bits he has. He believes that progress generally has landed us in a pretty poor predicament but happily lives to work – unlike so many of us who work to live. He gets up with the birds – “How can you not?” he asks – and spends his days outside or, when the weather is bad, in his workshop," Francine Raymond.

Gardens Illustrated says: 'A gorgeously joyful cottage style garden. And that photo of the sheep in the garden has to be an all-time favourite.'

Tom de Witte's narrow garden

Another from 2015, this time May. Dutch garden designer Tom de Witte plays to his garden's strengths and created a long, narrow space on the edge of town in Southern Netherlands.

"Tom’s own garden occupies a long, narrow strip, averaging about four metres wide – an awkward shape but one that allows for sub division and the creation of different zones, each of which has its own special atmosphere. 'The garden has an Alice in Wonderland feel,' comments Maayke de Ridder, who photographed this feature, 'because each segment is small but seems larger than it actually is,'" Noel Kingsbury.

Gardens Illustrated says: 'Such a clever use of an awkward shaped garden.'

Discover more inspiring small gardens here. 

Larry Went's garden around his energy-efficient home

This garden of luminous grasses and native plants appeared in Gardens Illustrated in September 2018. It blends beautifully with the surrounding farmland which straddles the border between New York and Connecticut.

"Even while Larry was still planning his energy-efficient home, he was thinking about how the surrounding garden would both flatter the house’s design and direct the eye out over the views of the surrounding farmland and then on to the mountains beyond. Every element in the garden is intended to complement the architecture of the house so that both house and garden had a similar feel," Tovah Martin.

Gardens Illustrated says: 'We love the consideration of garden and house that has gone into this design.'

The Land Gardeners at Wardington Manor

Appearing in our Plant Issue in 2019, Wardington Manor features an original arts and crafts garden around a much older house. In south Oxfordshire, the garden has growing areas that meet the demand for the cut flowers grown by The Land Gardeners, who supply London's top florists.

"Henrietta Courtauld and Bridget Elworthy – garden designers, growers, flower decorators and now compost manufacturers – are both modern and traditional, owing more to their doughty forbears than they could have realised in 2012 when they first came into being. Although they are partly based at a small design studio in Henrietta’s London garden, the raw materials for their floristry business come from Bridget’s home, Wardington Manor in north Oxfordshire. A former nunnery dating back to the 15th century, the rambling stone house is surrounded by an Edwardian garden where everything is fair game for cutting," Kendra Wilson.

Read our feature on The Land Gardeners here. 

Piet Oudolf's Hauser and Wirth garden

The legendary Dutch designer Piet Oudolf transformed a blank rectangular plot in Somerset into a perennial meadow brimming with colour, which we featured in our September issue in 2016.

"You see immediately why it is not called a garden. It is uncompromisingly faithful to its setting; the field stretches out like a huge, flat canvas that Piet has painted in great swoops of perennial plants, with no intervening trees or shrubs," Anna Pavord.

Gardens Illustrated says: 'Planting as installation by the father of contemporary planting ideas. Breathtakingly beautiful. Also incredibly seasonal.'

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Read 24 key plants from the Piet Oudolf field

Authors

Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London

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