June in the Garden: the secret garden

Perhaps some water here; and maybe a naturalistic statue

The secret garden lies behind the enormous conifer to the west of the house.

For me this unobtrusive area of lawn has a very female aura.  At present she has very little in the way of adornment and that is likely to remain the position for a while: other areas cry out more urgently for time and investment.  But there is scope here.  The situation will be cool and shady – and sheltered I think.   Indeed, she may well prove to be the most sheltered part of the garden: perhaps a refuge on hot, bright summer days or when the wind prevails over light and sun.  Perhaps some water here; and maybe a naturalistic statue.

Harri seems to like it.


An enclosed space amongst the vast openness that is the signature of our position here might be a wonderful delight on a warm summer’s afternoon.


I can see flowering shrubs: mostly white, I think, with touches of soft pink. Perhaps a forebear at Highfield had similar visions because as May blended into June, the secret garden has revealed extravagant, soft pink blooms on what had seemed a small and insignificant rhododendron.


A leggy lilac has sent forth a stream of spumous panicles: pale purple, fringed with creamy white.  I hadn’t noticed the lilac at all in my early explorations of the garden.  Which is just as well because I fear I would have taken the loppers to it.  That would have been a mistake, not just because I’d have lost this year’s blooms – sometimes a price worth paying – but because now she’s in flower, I can understand that she needs to be tall and rangy.  Mostly she is appreciated from the windows – the upstairs windows of course.  And her height is in complete proportion.  Also, growing through her and coming into flower now, is an even leggier rose.  Up close this rose is nothing special: tatty, pink, very prickly, and I suspect it may prove to be lacking in scent.  But viewed from the window, supported by and intertwining with the lilac… I think it will be lovely.


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