William Robinson had strong feelings about walls and fences and how they prevent the landscape from running into the garden.
In the Middle Ages, gardens were enclosed by walls or compact hedges. It was called ‘Hortus conclusus’. It wasn’t until the end of the eighteen century that gardens began to open up, offering views over the surrounding landscape. Walls were replaced by fences or “ha-ha walls” (cf. works of Capability Brown).
Maria im beschlossenen Garten mit Heiligen 1410, no name
At Gravetye, we’ve tried to keep the garden as open to the surrounding landscape as possible for all to appreciate the beautiful countryside which surrounds us, and is best viewed from the flower garden. Our fencing is slight; just a thin line in the landscape.
From the driveway to the Manor, we can enjoy views across the valley and sometimes glimpse families of deer on the estate. Our kitchen garden is the only area enclosed by walls, which keeps the garden warm for growing veg and to keep hungry animals out.
The Gravetye garden was built on a slope which gives a great panorama, so come and enjoy the view!
Words and photographs by Martin