subtle tones and smooth curves enhance beautiful borders
Down a country lane, past wooded glades and heathland, sits a garden brimming with unfurling foliage and pristine spring flowers. In the crystal clear sunlight of early morning, a myriad of tulips shimmer from beds and borders. All are carefully colour-themed and blended with ornamental grasses, burgeoning perennials and evergreen shrubs.
Furzelea, a Victorian house, lies outside the village of Danbury, Essex, on a south-facing hillside. Owners Avril and Roger Cole-Jones have gardened on this plot for 36 years. They greet each spring with keen anticipation. “I love to see the garden coming to life again after winter, with new shoots breaking through the earth, fresh leaves emerging on the trees, and a succession of bulbs,” says Avril. “I am no lover of yellow, and big golden daffodils are my pet hate. So after the snowdrops and dainty white narcissi, tulips are what I look forward to.”
Circles and curves create a continuous flow from one area to another. The main view is from a raised stone terrace that lies immediately outside the kitchen. This directs the eye down the sloping garden. There are tantalising glimpses of a pond, arches, a thatched roof and shapely trees.
The palette of tulip colours changes subtly, creating an informal effect. Pinks and mauves flow down the eastern border, beneath a pink blossoming prunus ‘Kiku Shidare Zakura’. They pass a clump of blue Muscari armeniacum. In the bottom border, there is an old camellia, Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ and a shrimp-pink Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum’. Here, yellow and orange tulips start to dominate, changing to reds, oranges and creams along the western border.
Photographs: Nicola Stocken