Gardens at West Green

Towards the end of June, I visited the gardens at West Green House, near Hartley Wintney, for the first time, with my Mum and LO.

Path into the gardens at West Green House

The gentleman manning the entrance was exceptionally friendly and charming, setting us up for a very pleasurable visit. From our first steps along the inviting gravel path, lined with immaculately pleached hornbeams, which led us into the gardens, there was an overriding sense of calm and wellbeing.

Dragon Garden at West Green House

The dragon garden was a tranquil and serene place, the eponymous dragons flowing along one side of the path, while masses of peonies and a selection of fine acers in equally beautiful containers punctuated the opposite side.

Path through garden at West Green House

The path continued to skirt around the boundary, through a sequence of different gardens. To our right there were glimpses of a lake, where a swan majestically glided along.

Lake at West Green House gardens

The planting around the lake included flag irises and hosts of unmarked hostas. I later doubled back around the lake and the central areas of the garden which were predominantly laid to grass; the ride was a wonderfully serene corridor enclosed by tall beautifully shaggy beech hedges – mid to late June is a wonderful time in gardens such as this, where everything is soft and green, hedges yet to be clipped are shaggy with growth and there is a real luxurious lushness to them.

Edible hedge garden at West Green

The topiary garden from RHS Chelsea 2014 was transplanted here after the show, and exhibited some lovely forms, though sadly much of the box, particularly the central bird, was now spoiled by box blight.

Garden of the Five Bridges, West Green

The Garden of the Five Bridges was rather fun, the path winding its way between and across those Chinese style wooden bridges which criss-crossed over the bed of what appeared to be a dried up stream planted with irises; further planting included more hostas and ferns, with clematis climbing over the swags of the bridges.

Rills in the paradise garden at West Green

Water gently trickled from fountains in the Paradise Garden, perhaps my least favourite part of these gardens, seeming a little out of place – perhaps because the garden is bounded only by a slope of grass on one side, which rather spoils the formality. There was a further water garden approached through a wonderful moongate, which worked far better in my opinion.

Moongate at West Green garden

Water garden at West green

After all, who wouldn’t love to have a moongate? Hardy geraniums bounded up the steps through the gate, at the feet of beautifully clipped topiary, towards the water garden terrace at the top.

Walled garden at West Green

The walled garden was a triumph; first the potager area, beautifully laid out and filled with edibles and ornamentals alike.

Walled garden at West Green

Walled garden at West Green

Walled garden at West Green

Beside the potager, an ornamental area was divided into a lawned quadrant bounded by exuberant planting, which I couldn’t do any justice to with my camera phone (not to mention the impatient small boy wrapped around me).

Walled garden at West Green

Alliums in the walled garden at West Green

The flowers were abundant and beautiful though – even these alliums that were going over still packed a punch – with lots of the rich purples and blues that I really love.

Topiary at West Green

Immaculate topiary here and in the courtyard garden where tea was being served.

Courtyard dining area at West Green

Parterre at West Green

I loved the drama of the red and green in this area. Sadly, though, when my Mum went to investigate refreshments, she found the staff particularly unhelpful and we continued on without stopping here. When we reached the gravelled area leading back to the shop and entrance, there were a few more tables, and Mum tried once more to secure refreshments, where she again seemed to battle with unhelpfulness from the staff, but this time at least returned with two pots of tea which we enjoyed at a shady table, while eyeing up prospective purchases from the plants on sale.

West Green gardens

Shop at West Green gardens

The shop was well appointed with thriving plants from the Hairy Pot Plant company, and neither of us managed to escape without a couple of ‘essentials’ – for me the lovely Persicaria affinis Darjeeling Red and Echinacea purpurea Magnus, as my seed raised plants from a few years ago have sadly petered out.

Apart from Mum’s disappointment with service in the tea rooms, which I can’t comment further on as I was waiting outside, it was a lovely visit, with gardens that I should very much like to see again. We didn’t quite make it round the greenhouses, though they looked well worth investigating, so I shall have to return. The gentleman on the entrance who took our payment for the plants was once more a pleasure to chat to before we took our leave.

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16 thoughts on “Gardens at West Green

  1. The moongate is wonderful, especially for the way it frames the topiary underplanted with geraniums. Your photograph of it captures the elements beautifully. I’d just love to incorporate one into my garden!

  2. I wish I had known you were visiting! This is my “local”, and I would have loved the opportunity to meet you again. You obviously enjoyed the garden, but what a shame about the poor service in the teashop. This has not been my experience, so hopefully it was just “a bad day”. For me the best feature in the garden is the Moongate – really stunning.

    • Ah it would have been great to meet up again. It was a very last minute visit though, and during the week – mostly to carry a second hand cot to my Mum’s house for future visits while there weren’t three of us in the car. We visited the gardens on a Friday so I suspect you would have been more gainfully employed!
      Will give the tearooms another chance next time we make it! 🙂
      Yes, the moongate is rather wonderful indeed.

  3. We would love to be able to fit a moon gate in our garden, they are such a great feature. I like the drama of the red and green garden and your reflective photo of the lake.

  4. Me, me, me – I’d like a moongate. My alliums have flopped over now and I wonder whether I haven’t planted them deep enough. Terribly sad about the box blight. Dave

    • Me too! Ahh my Purple Sensation alliums just haven’t come back this year at all, though I’m sure I saw the foliage (and a zillion seedlings) appear in the spring. Most peculiar. And sad. As is the box blight on that topiary, indeed.

  5. Oh give me that wall let alone the moongate. It looks and sounds a great garden to visit apart from the refreshments experience. Maybe they were short staffed on that day. That nursery area looks most inviting.

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