The garden at Barrington Court
The famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, was consulted by Colonel Lyle’s wife, Elsie, on the layout and best planting schemes for the garden. At the time, Jekyll was well into her seventies and almost blind, but she was able to advise what would grow best in the limy earth just by crumbling the soil, which was sent to her in biscuit tins. Elsie Lyle visited Jekyll to discuss the plans for the garden in person, and much of what you see today was inspired by these earlier plans.
Traditionally the kitchen garden was the larder of any country house. Our kitchen garden is a working gem, and it still fulfils its original function of providing fresh fruit and veg for our restaurant. There are huge pumpkins, curious ornamental gourds, kale and cabbages, and with a little luck, some late raspberries.
The herbaceous borders that run down the orchard side of the kitchen garden are a riot of autumn colour with the asters and michaelmas daisies looking particularly joyful.
A house with a moat
Pausing for a minute and peeking into the moat can be very rewarding as you’re likely to spot plenty wildlife, from ducks to dragonflies. The moat needs regular raking to keep the water clear.
Rose and iris garden
A bridge leads you over the moat and through a carved and weathered oak door to the beautiful walled garden. The spaces here are arranged as a series of connected individual garden 'rooms', each with its own theme or focus. The garden team is dividing up last of the irises at the minute - a job that is done every four years after they’ve finished flowering.
Renovation of the rose beds took place during 2017 and they are now firmly established, with the fantastic floral displays of Rosa 'Felicia', 'Cornelia' and ' Penelope' (to name but a few) at their height earlier in the summer. Autumn is when you’ll see the team deep in the beds pruning everything.
The largest of the gardens and the first to be planted, the Lily Garden remains closest of all to Gertude’s designs for Barrington Court, with planting that is rich and changing. Another job to keep the team busy over the coming weeks is lifting the dahlias so they can be stored over winter.
The pergola walk
The brick and wood pergola was designed by our current head gardener, Christine Brain, along with Andrew Lyle in the 1980s. This lovely feature covers the path from the busstalls to the White Garden, and there are many delightful, well-established climbing plants growing over it.
The trees in the orchard are heavy with fruit at this time of year. The harvesting of the apples starts at the end of August takes up to twelve weeks to complete - and everyone can help us too. There’s a row of little wheelbarrows parked in the goose orchard by the main entrance, so scoot round and gather up the windfalls to put in the crates for the cider-making team to press and make into our very own cider and apple juice - both of which you can try in the restaurant or buy in the shop.