Packwood's flamboyant flowers
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Whilst Packwood may be most famous for its towering Yews, there is a wealth of other horticultural history growing in the garden.
The Fetherston family created the garden's formal arrangement with its mellow brick courtyards, raised terrace and gazebos, all providing a rare surviving example of the layout of a 17th-century garden. The Mount, cold plunge bath and numerous sundials are ornamental reminders from this period.
But Graham Baron Ash, Packwood’s owner in the early 20th-century, was responsible for much of the current layout and style of the main walled garden. He restored several of the gazebos, and created the sunken garden and rose bays, all to compliment his newly ‘restored’ Tudor house.
Mingled flower borders
The true stars of the show however are Packwood's flamboyant flower borders, renowned for their distinctive ‘mingled’ style which has evolved through the hands of successive head gardeners.
This is a 19th-century approach to planting, described by the Victorian horticulturist JC Loudon in his Encyclopaedia of Gardening, and was still in use at Packwood when the National Trust took over in the 1940s.
It consists of small groups or single plants being repeated at intervals along the border creating a vivid tapestry of plants crammed closely together.
The 'mingled' style is labour intensive and requires a high level of skill to ensure it is well maintained - luckily here at Packwood we have some of the best gardener's around.