Stoberry House - Book for the Bishops Palace Garden Festival
Stay at Stoberry House and Gardens this summer and enjoy our beautiful garden with the flowers blooming. An article has been written about this area of beauty and published in the Somerset Gardens Trust Magazine. The article is below.
While staying with us and enjoying our gardens, why not visit the Bishops Palace around 20th-24th June for the Garden Festival with guest speakers such as Alan Titchmarsh MBE and Troy Scott Smith on the 20th June; Charles Dowding and Christine Walkden on the 21st June; Alan Power and James Cross on the 22nd June; Stephen Lacey on the 23rd June and Bob Flowerdew on the 24th June. Book now through the Bishops Palace.
Stoberry Park – a Landscape Transformed
Stoberry House was built in 1745 by Peter Davis of Wells. The House and surrounding Park occupied a commanding site within a former mediaeval open field. In the 1950’s the House burnt down and was demolished, leaving the Coach House and 1½ acre Walled Garden within the original 10 acre area. “ A whole new chapter in the family’s life began, arriving in Wells from Botswana and transforming an English jungle into a fantastic garden - a piece of paradise from a wilderness, filled with black sheep and barbed wire, left to run wild the untamed garden was awaiting transformation”, wrote garden journalist Mervin Hancock.On viewing Stoberry for the first time, my first reaction was to turn around and flee, but my husband fell in love with the view and the position, so persuaded me to reconsider and imagine a vision that could be created on the large blank canvas. So, we started gardening at Stoberry in 1997.In the approach to the House, there were no water features, but by creating a pond we attract a variety of wildlife. There are various sitting areas to enjoy the outstanding views. A memorial garden to a friend gently cascades down a bank previously full of stones, tree stumps, brambles and rubble. Last year we planted a fernery; developed from the concept of a stumpery, we wanted a small garden, using interesting pieces of wood, and planting them up with ferns. As they decay just add more pieces! In the meadow area, we have experimented with wild spring flowers; however there is a knack to this and so far we have not succeeded, this year we have planted wild flower circles. To the East of the House is the Walled Garden. Part of this used to be a very rough area, used for sheep and full of thistles and nettles, now the open part of the Garden - with one area leading you through to a view of the next. There is a new rose garden, which is sheltered and enclosed in a peaceful corner, allowing you to sit and enjoy the fragrances and the scent of the Clerodendrum. The sunken garden is a much more contained area, luring you to explore and wander. When I started to think about of the design for the Garden, the advice given to me by friends was to break it up into several ‘rooms’- which I know would have worked successfully - but I feel we are so lucky to have space, and with my African background, I wanted to enjoy this. Gardening is great fun. Everyone’s opinions differ of the way a garden should look. I have always felt it is a bit like cooking….some people like spicy food, others bland, and who is to say which one is right!For me a successful garden is one that has interest and colour throughout the year. My aim - that the freshness of spring daffodils leads through to tulips and iris’s, followed by the summer roses, and progresses through the year to the autumn colours. It touches all the senses: sight, sound, ‘the music of nature as the sound of the wind creates its own melodies’ (I have planted small clumps of bamboos just to take advantage of this), and smell (here confined spaces and the sunken garden come into their own). Sculpture is another great love of mine. Our vision is of works of art integrated as part of the planting scheme. They can be used to accentuate, fill an empty gap or blend a planting scheme together - and here in the South-West we have so many talented artists. I do hope that you will able to visit and enjoy the garden, which gives us so much, and can experience it as it changes and matures (www.stoberryhouse.co.uk).