Wrapping around the ochre-toned farmhouse, the enchanting country garden at Pheasant Farm is the product of 10 years of hard work. Lucie and Jonathan Neame bought the farmhouse, in the little village of Oare, Kent, and the property came with a half-an-acre garden – which consisted of little more than some mixed shrubs, insignificant borders, and a handful of trees – and an attached area of rough grass.
They left the garden as it was for a decade before deciding to start again from scratch. With the help of local garden designer Sarah Morgan and Millhouse Landscapes, it was reformed and replanted and the landscape designed with curves, circles and wavy-edged borders, with just a hint of formality.
Lucie’s country garden advice
- Don’t be too prescriptive about your plantings – if something likes the spot, go with it
- A top labour-saving idea for pots: instead of planting them up, simply drop planted plastic pots in them for an instant display. For example, plant tulips ready in plastic pots, then when they’re finished, replace with hydrangeas in the same way
- When the conditions are quite tough – hot and dry in the summer then really wet in winter – adaptable plants are needed
- Allow some plants to self-seed and pop up unexpectedly to add to the natural feel
- Don’t cut plants down in winter – leave the seedheads to die off naturally and provide
food for the abundant birds and insects