On-site/ Off-road parking available (buses call first)
Tea/coffee available for purchase
Picnic area available (visitors may bring food)
Dogs allowed
Garden tours available
Home producers/ Vegetable gardens

Your hosts: Jenny Cooper and Chris Raateland

35 Willowside Place, Amberley

Jen verses the Nor’wester

This is not so much a garden as a balancing act. A balancing act between a love of order, and a belief in wildness. Between an obsession with plants, and there only being 24 hours in a day. Between a limited budget and all the lovely things one can order off the internet. Between loving a rose, but hating to spray. And between having an acre of land, and wanting a social life and the occasional sit down!

8 years ago this was an exposed sheep paddock, with a great sheltering hedge to the east, and a stream. We are windy and dry in summer, and under water in winter. Our solution was to divide the property into 13 informal lawns, each surrounded by a garden with its own character. From gravel gardens to Mediterranean gardens, tussocks, a small wild meadow, woodland gardens, a tiny vineyard and even a bog garden, we are experimenting to see what works best in this varied environment. We mulch heavily, we plant small, and we don’t grow plants that need deadheading or staking. Here there are few roses and dahlias, but tough euphorbia, eryngium, sanguisorbia, salvias, echinacea, and achillea. Add an orchard, berry cage and vegetables, 200 deciduous trees and hundreds of natives, this is a much loved work in progress. And yes, occasionally we do get to sit down.

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