Ordnance House is a private domestic garden that we created from an entirely blank canvas. We moved here in May 2011 but work on the garden only began in August of that year when the hard landscaping was carried out. It is an open site, south facing, sharp draining and chalky. But many plants thrive especially Alliums in Spring and Lavender in Summer – both have become signature plants in the garden.
In the press
We are fortunate that the garden we have created here at Ordnance House has been featured in a variety of publications and media. We have always appreciated the opportunity to have been able to showcase the garden with beautiful pictures taken by talented photographers and share it with a wider audience. Click the link below to see where the garden has appeared to date.
From an early stage we knew what we wanted to achieve and indeed, what would be possible at Ordnance House. If you sit on chalk and are south facing, as is the case with our garden, you pretty much know what you are up against. Better to work with nature than against it. Even the most rudimentary knowledge of horticulture and gardening tells you pretty clearly which direction to take in plant selections. At our previous home at Linden Barn in East Stratton we were on a clay cap and once most plants got themselves established they thrived.
Gardening on chalk has been a new experience but far more plants have taken and established well than we first thought and this has been a huge bonus. The wet, damp and cool weather of 2012 also helped the garden establish more quickly than we had ever hoped for.
From an early stage Lavender occupied our thinking for obvious reasons but we have tried to incorporate unusual and little used varieties especially Intermedia which is often called ‘Old English’ Lavender.
We also chose to use certain design elements we had experimented with before. The use of the ‘longest line of sight’ (which we incorporated at Linden Barn) and which is used to dissect a site thus making it look larger. Indeed, we still find it fascinating how this one tiny piece of chance advice given to me so very long ago influences us still.
The garden is now a reality and relatively little changed from the original plan. We never did choose to erect a Summer House in the far south eastern corner of the garden. This area became a productive and rather lovely orchard and we chose instead to erect a bespoke gazebo which was handmade from locally sourced oak from the nearby New Forest. This structure has become our ‘Orchard Room’ and a place we can sit out, relax and enjoy the fruit trees and wilder planting.
We now have productive ornamental vegetable and soft fruit gardens, both of which take us on journeys into new areas of horticulture.
We have many seating areas from which to enjoy the garden and the greater landscape beyond of rolling fields and the splendid backdrop of the wooded slopes of Dean Hill.
So the plan is now a reality but the garden’s evolution continues. It is a living thing that will change by the season and by the year. It is something we enjoy being in whether this be working or relaxing. But most of all it is a lovely place. Our lovely place.
The garden at Ordnance House has opened in support of the National Garden Scheme and other worthy causes.