Last weekend Kathy and I had the most amazing day out at Paul Bangay's magnificent country estate, Stonefields. Over two days thousands of the garden loving public had the opportunity to visit and wander through this incredible display of craftsmanship all in aid of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
The weather could not have been kinder with crisp air and sparkling sunshine, it was a joy to behold as we ventured through those first gates into the White garden. Each area on the property was sectioned by meticulously clipped hedges creating intimate rooms to move through with so much to catch the eye you could have set up a chair for the day and just soaked it all in! Here's a little of what we loved...
That incredible sunlight couldn't be tamed, but it did create this pretty scene in the Blue Borders, a series of terraces leading down to the house framed on either side by these gorgeous garden beds.
The Tulip Parterres, seriously my nails aren't as well manicured as these beautiful English box hedges. I can't even imagine what this becomes in Spring when the tulips arrive. Another open day please Mr.Bangay?
These buxus sempervirens balls are placed through out the gardens and are a signature feature of Bangay's work.
One of my absolute favourites, the Rose Garden! This beautiful rambling floral display is breathtaking and whisked me away to Monet's gardens in Giverny with all it's romance. The colours were so rich and the sun so bright it was almost overwhelming in it's intensity. An absolute joy to behold!
Can you believe the hotness of colour in these Dahlias? No filter here! And the lemons along the wall, so much detail!
Ok so it was only a matter of time before we started on about Autumn, but come on! I had been dreaming about these Maples before even arriving, in fact from the second Mr.Bangay posted these on his instagram account. You can have a look by clicking HERE
More beautiful borders full of Salvias and Penstemon, enough to make any English garden jealous!
And STOP!....So stunning in it's symmetry and simplicity, plus the incredible view behind me that I can only imagine the serenity on late summer's afternoon, G&T in hand... just begging to do a bomb dive!...Cannonball!!! How my five year old didn't end up in here is a miracle, thank you pool gods!
Oh those steps, the attention to detail, the bowling green lawn, I can't even....
Time to find some shade? Then why not join me in the Summer Houses for some much needed respite with these way too cute and somewhat Dr.Suessie clematis?
Now back to Autumn, after dragging myself away from the splendour in the pool and taking a walk through the woodland, with it's cooler micro climate allowing an entirely different range of plantings including hellebores, hydrangeas and the biggest King Soloman Seal I've ever seen!
But my absolute favourite was this dovecote at the end of the Apple Walk. It's hard to believe that amongst all of the admiring horde it was almost peaceful in here, a stunning boulevard of clipped spheres and of course the beautiful apple trees. I'll take tea here please...how's the view?
I apologise for the armada of photographs, but there were so many magical things to share with you it was hard to edit them out. An incredible experience I won't forget for a very long time as I'm sure many other visitors will agree was well worth it.
I want to pass on a huge thank you to Stephanie Alexander and her Kitchen Garden Foundation for putting on a wonderful weekend, hope you raised loads, you all worked tirelessly. Also to Paul Bangay and his team of clever gardeners for allowing all of us to descend on his magnificent property which is an incredible example of his work. And also to my Husband for secretly waiting in line to have a mountain of books signed by the aforementioned legends, Stephanie Alexander and Paul Bangay. They will be treasured forever!
For information on what plantings have been used I couldn't recommend more Paul Bangay's Guide to Plants and of course his new book The Garden at Stonefields, both of which can be found at www.paulbangay.com Why not book a private tour, dates for 2016 can also be found on the website and would make a very special gift.
If you'd like to learn more about the amazing work at the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation why not check out their website at www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au