An unexpected garden created by plantaholics and packed with unusual plants and inspiring combinations. Foliage in a wide range of colours and textures forms the backdrop to ever-changing flowers. Several seating areas offer different perspectives on the design and planting composition. From a small bridge see the man-made stream cascade to the pond. For sale: cakes, teas and home-grown plants. Featured in the Garden Answers Chelsea Special May 2017.
How to find us
43 Mardley Hill, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 0TT
5m N of Welwyn Garden City. On B197 between Welwyn & Woolmer Green, on crest of Mardley Hill by bus stop for Arriva 300/301.
More about 43 Mardley Hill
The garden design is open-plan with curvaceous borders that are densely and richly planted with a huge variety of foliage colours and textures. We find that visitors stay for quite a while, viewing the garden from the different seating angles and levels. The outdoor armchairs overlooking the pond are always a popular spot. There are many quirky and unusual features in the garden. The different planting areas include: a sunny border with grasses, camassias and alliums; partly shaded banks with a magnolia, azaleas, dicentras, moisture loving ferns, aquilegias and hostas; three white-stemmed birches underplanted with spring bulbs, epimediums, hostas, painted ferns and an increasing collection of choice and rare woodland plants such as paris, podophyllum and trilliums; tree ferns, tetrapanex rex and a schefflera create a canopy for interesting foliage plants including saxifrage, brunnera and meconopsis; a raised slate bed planted with alpines; a man-made bog area with large-leaved plants such as gunnera, rodgersia and ligularia; a small wildflower patch around an old apple tree. We are also Plant Heritage Plant Guardians for three garden-worthy plants that are rare in cultivation. Photographs on display illustrate the garden transformation since 2009 and we label many of the unusual plants. A chicken coop features in one of the beds and our bantam Pekin chickens will be pottering around. We offer generous portions of delicious home-made cakes and scones, all served on vintage china, with the proceeds going directly to Grove House Hospice in St Albans. We sell plants that we have grown from seed, cuttings or division, so the selection differs each year.