Elizabeth Tudor Walk
The Topiary Garden was planted in the late 1970’s as a separate enclosure. Later, one of the beech hedges was taken out thus providing what we now see – a wonderful topiary tableau as a backcloth to the Fountain Court.
The Arts Garden was created in 2007 when the vista path was laid. It is a classically symmetrical area with statues of Music, Painting, Architecture and Sculpture.
These came into being in 2015 having turned the old Kitchen Garden in to the Colonnade Court. Two charming areas enclosed by picket fences, one filled with a variety of flowers for cutting and the other to provide Sir Roy with home grown vegetables, salad greens and herbs – all handy for the house.
The idea of a serpentine path goes back to the initial lay-out of the garden, one which because of its long, straight vistas, called for the dramatic contrast of curves and abundant planting. Swathes of perennials and grasses arise contrasting sharply with the topiary Yew, Box, Holly, Beech and Privet. Amidst a statue of Britannia and a lion from the Houses of Parliament acts as focal points.
Julia’s Walk was laid out in the winter of 2014-15 in her memory. An entirely new wildflower meadow with a meandering path flanked by a lavish planting of the spring flowers she loved – especially snowdrops, which she collected. It culminates with a pond.
Julia designed two of the great choreographers, Sir Frederick Ashton’s ballets. The first, in 1968, was Enigma Variations, the second, A Month in the Country in 1976. This arbour, with its view of the gardens’ cross axis, was planted whilst Julia was working on the second. Both ballets are commemorated with inscribed plaques; the one inscribed Enigma has huge resonances for this is Elgar country.
Halfway up the Great Ascent there is a small circular garden named after the famous Elizabethan miniaturist, Nicholas Hilliard – a subject of one of Roy’s books. Within is a clipped parterre with the initials J & R – Julia and Roy – combined.
In 1985 Roy was fifty and this little garden was designed by Julia to mark the occasion. At the time she was working at the Chichester Festival Theatre and, not far from there, acquired the four Putti depicting the Seasons as her birthday present.
The Herb Garden opens off the topiary filled Upper Walk – a small enclosure with both culinary and medicinal herbs.
This is one of the two great garden vistas with a history dating back to the mid 1970’s. It is over sixty yards long, twice the length of the famous one at Sissinghurst, and both are framed by pleached limes. Over the decades there has been added fastigiate Irish Yews, a swagged beech hedge and a low, inner yew hedge. At one end is a crowned column celebrating both Queen Elizabeth I and II and at the other a large urn which marks the award to Roy of the Shakespeare Prize in 1980.