A garden that goes with the grain.

Scree garden and grain silo at The Cottage Herbery

This unique landscape speaks of its farming heritage by taking cues from the agricultural buildings, which have been left in situ and reclaimed by time, the elements and its hospitable owners, Rob and Kim Hurst, who have upcycled on a grand scale.

Steel structures, like the monumental Dutch barn, which once housed a hop machine, have been partly deconstructed and repurposed as rustic garden rooms and prodigious plant supports clothed in colossal climbers.

A scree garden seamlessly segues into a swimming pond, serving up a coastal vibe in this exposed site beneath big, blustery skies. A grain-silo-come-beech-hut, is home to a fanatical filtration system, which preserves crystal clear waters.

From its peat-free beginnings in 1976 to the numerous awards, including Chelsea Gold Medals, this inspiring family-run nursery, in the Teme Valley, continues to set the gold standard for growing quality herbs, aromatic plants and hardy perennials.

The nursery and garden are not usually open to the public, instead offering garden and plant enthusiasts the opportunity to visit, usually followed by teas in the barn or garden, if weather permits. For further details visit: www.thecottageherbery.co.uk

Studio garden draws on Native American settlements

First up in the Green Living Spaces at RHS Malvern Spring Festival, mentored by Jamie Butterworth from Butterworth Horticulture, is ‘An Artist’s Studio at Home’.

A collaboration between Jessica Makins and Stephanie Tudor, this garden defied its diminutive dimensions by confining seating to the sidelines, in a clay-coloured, cob bench combo, by Jeffrey Hart at Hartwyn, consisting of cleverly integrated cushions and natty nooks, which smacked of New Mexico and its ancient Pueblos. 

Heath Sawn Sandstone, with its uniform dove-grey colouring, by London Stone, teamed well with the organic cotton cushions and kept things light and airy. A natural, unpainted wooden pergola, connected to the studio, defined this area and echoed the treatment on the window frames and doorway.

Ethical AND exciting – yes, those two really can coexist – this dream space, inspired by the life and work of artist Georgia O’Keefe, stole the show with a contemporary palette of grey-green planting and monochromatic blooms, which would inspire any painter who took up residency in this garden’s artfully accessorised studio.

Well-deserving of its Gold and People’s Choice awards, don’t you think!