We have visited Hestercombe at most times of the season. It rarely looks any different. OK, it's a garden museum showing how wonderful the partnership was . The true magnificence of this place is the hard landscaping in the formal garden which provides a superb theatre for exciting planting . So it is right that the Jekyll/ Lutyens partnership should be celebrated.
It is often said that a garden is never completed, that they evolve and develop over time. Who is to say that Gertrude's planting ideas were the best and that the choice of plants could not be bettered? I am beginning to wonder why Gertrude's planting is held in such high regard.
When we visited this week and looked down on the Great Plat we saw the big peonies in full bloom we looked forward to getting up close to savour their scent. It was a fine warm afternoon and the Great Plat was sheltered and trapped the warmth. But the peonies had no perfume whatsoever! What a disappointment! Surely there were perfumed peonies around when she was making her plans ? Some of the roses on the pergola also had no scent - what a waste! And those dreary
Bergenias as an edging! All leaf and hardly any colour. Perhaps they are to blame for sheltering the pests that are damaging the cannas and delphiniums in the centre of the beds? Most colour was provided by mimulus in the rill but was this planted originally or is it an interloper?
Perhaps it is time to review the planting to provide round the year interest that modern day visitors will appreciate ( and satisfy their legitimate expectation for value for money) and to use some more rewarding plants? There. I've said it.
The Landscape garden is as appealing as ever and provides a pleasant walk with interesting design features.
The average rating comes from the overall experience of us as visitors - entrance fees as expensive as Wisley , catering prices on the hefty side, and often a disappointing lack of interest in the garden and some maintenance issues with bindweed and overgrown shrubs.
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