24 April 2012

The Old Vicarage in Petersham

The Open Gardens season started with a visit to The Old Vicarage, just up the road in Petersham.

I was especially keen to pay it a visit as it is the first time that it has been open to the public.

It also belongs to the area covered by my Ham Photos Blog so I was keen to get a few photos of it to publish there.

The house is set well back from the road and is protected by a high wall so there was little clue as to what to expect until the gates were opened and we were allowed in.

The building itself is plain but not without charm. It is nicely proportioned and has a few subtle decorations, like the coloured line of bricks between the ground and first floors. All of this helps to make it feel smaller and more cottage-like than it actually is.

The area around the house is laid out formally with rows of rectangular flower beds and wide brick paths between them.

There is a white picket fence around the outside which I suspect is more to protect the flowers from stay footballs etc. than for any decorative effect.

The flower beds are thick with tulips. These are arranged by colour and that gives it the appearance of a nursery.

Beyond the picket fence lies a different world. There is a large lawn leading towards a tennis court, other flower beds with other purposes, patches of wild grasses punctuated with bluebells, and a small hillock that gives the impression of being left to its own devices.

On the top of the hillock is a large tree house with a combination of ropes, ladders and bridges that any young child would love.

Nearby there is a whimsical collection of deer ignoring all that goes on around them.

More of The Old Vicarage can be seen in the background to remind you just how practicable a house this is.

Climbing back down from the hillock and crossing the lawn takes you to an enclosed wildlife area.

It is enclosed because it is home to a few very round and very orange hens who are allowed to roam free.

They share this area with some ducks who seem to be very contented with their pond.

All of the garden looks very new and this area looks like work in progress so it will be interesting to see what it looks like next year.

The garden at The Old Vicarage gives every impression of being carefully planned and executed. Each part of the garden has its own purpose and they fit together sensibly and pleasingly. Above all, it feels lived in and loved.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantatic garden, composed like a symphony for wildlife but including a beautiful cutting garden. If you get a chance do visit, it is so well thought out! Gaby


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