Durnamuck garden in Scotland

Gardens from the archive: Scottish garden with a South African twist

We head into the Gardens Illustrated archive to look back over some of the most intriguing gardens we've featured

While it’s usually peak visiting time, we’re finding new ways of getting our garden fix from the comfort and safety of your own home while we’re all socially distancing. Here’s a selection of astonishing gardens featured on the pages of the Gardens Illustrated magazine that the team love. Lose yourself in the images below.

Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes' forget-me-not
© Jason Ingram

A Scottish garden with a South African twist

In issue 268, our Plant Issue in 2018, we featured Durnamuck a plantsman’s garden on a Scottish loch. Will Soos and Sue Pomeroy met while they both working nearby at the National Trust for Scotland’s Inverewe Garden, where Will was responsible for the spectacular walled garden and Sue focused on plant propagation.

John Hoyland said: “There was no design on paper. The garden grew from talking about what was needed, how to deal with the rain and the wind, and how to find space for all the plants Will and Sue had collected. When laying out the garden the surrounding landscape was always the focus, and the plants always lead the eye towards the view…

“My favourite part of the garden is a high mound covered with flaming red and orange Crocosmia. I love it even more when Sue points out stone steps, hidden among the plants, that lead to the top of the mound and a low stone bench around a steel fire pit. It is also a belvedere from which you can see the layout of the garden and admire views across the cultivated area to the meadow beyond and then down to the sea. It is a sight you could never tire of. ”

A garden tumbling down a rocky cliff face in Devon

This private garden ran in issue 275, in July 2019 and was designed by Duncan Nuttall who built and planted the entire garden with his colleague Will Cumberlidge. It is on a secluded, craggy headland within a stone’s throw from the sea and is a garden billowing with delicate herbaceous flowers and soft grasses and an amazing view.

Matthew Reese said: “The garden wraps around the house and gently slopes down to a bleached, oak deck and pool. Render walls have been replaced with smart, metal, see-through railings, revealing spectacular views across the bay. Beyond the deck, the garden drops away, tumbling down the cliff face towards the water’s edge.

“Duncan and Will have made a beautiful garden on a difficult site close to the sea. The garden connects seamlessly with the
wider landscape, and is a wonderful exhibition of what is possible when the artist and the gardener collaborate.”

A romantic, 13-century gatehouse garden in Cornwall

At Trematon Castle, near Saltash, garden designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman took on the lease at Trematon Castle near Saltash and achieved a startling and romantic transformation. We featured the garden in June 2015 in issue 223.

Anna Pavord said: “The euphorbia is a signature plant at Trematon, particularly in spring, when the  lime-green heads sing out against the sober backdrop of stone walls and evergreen oaks. But in summer, echiums (Echium pininana) take over the leading role, rearing in blue spikes up to 3m tall on the slope behind the gatehouse.  In this new situation, the Bannermans have seized all the advantages of a Cornish maritime climate. Yet again, they have conjured up a bold, brave and brilliant garden.”

Spring bulb border garden outside Amsterdam