The Garden at Dedham Hall Hotel, Essex
Here are some photos of a beautiful cottage garden at Dedham Hall Hotel, a 15th century Manor House in the heart of Constable Country. We stayed there last week in order to visit the Beth Chatto Gardens nearby.
It was Wendy and Jim’s garden here at the hotel that I fell in love with.
See what you think.
Some gardens move our emotions and some don’t. It’s such a personal thing. I’ve written about my favorite cottage garden, East Lambrook Manor and how I try to copy that style.
Well Dedham Hall Hotel certainly has that style and when I walked in it took my breath away.
The brick paving and paths were pale and higgledy piggledy and I just loved that. You had to watch your step but how lovely compared to a power washed pavement in a garden.
Why did I like this garden so much?
Because it looked so artless, so natural, as though it hadn’t been obsessed over. Actually it looked quite neglected and that’s why I loved it. I hope the owner will take that as a compliment.
The plants that were thriving and doing their thing were clearly in exactly the right place – rosemaries getting huge in parched dry soil, a honeysuckle in a tiny pot flowering like mad.
And chairs everywhere
just all over the place giving the message that this is a place to be in, to sit in, to stay in, to relax in – not a garden to stand in and admire the neatness and the cleverness of growing difficult plants. There were wheelbarrows everywhere, looking abandoned, and every inch had something wild and interesting growing in it.
Were there weeds?? I don’t know. Who cares? If you read Jack Wallington’s book Wild about Weeds you won’t think in terms of weeds any more anyway. Dandelions are fab.
So what can we take from this..
It depends on what you want from a garden I suppose. We all use them for a different purpose. If I wanted somewhere to melt into, to calm my mind and my soul, to feel part of the natural world and also have a place to potter and do some nice gardening, this would be the place. The fact that they run residential art courses year round shows in the feel of the place and the pictures on the walls.
We saw it in early May and their website has photos of the garden in other seasons – I could see lupins that were about to go bonkers.
If you would like my intermittent blogs to arrive by email just put your address in the box at the top.
Thank you for reading and good gardening………