Carols garden guide for the Oxford College of Garden Design
I first visited Denmans the garden of the venerated John Brookes many years ago on a hot sunny day in July and was so very excited to be there after eagerly devouring every book he had written and attempting to create my own garden around his design principles.
It did not disappoint although sadly on reflection mine was an insult to design and the great man himself!!!!
I have been there several times since as I am now privileged to know John, most recently just last week and it was such a different experience seeing it in late autumn.
At this time of year it is easy to see that It is clearly designed around exactly the same philosophy as is now taught at the Oxford College of Garden Design!
The strong use of ground pattern creates an underlying framework that holds the design together creating a strong and impelling route of flow – similar to my own garden! At last I have a garden that has got it right although I personally take little credit for that!
Denmans is admittedly 30+ years old and by John’s own admission some of the planting needs updating and plans are afoot to start again in the walled garden area which is exciting!
Nevertheless there is still plenty to enjoy in the plant department with loads of texture and colour as the photos prove! However right now it is a fantastic garden to visit to see the bare bones of a great design but if you are a “plant-a-holic” wait until June or go twice!
The garden is open all year and there is a really nice little garden centre attached to it that sells everything from a primrose to a £3000 full sized sculpture of a vestal virgin (well virgin’s don’t come cheap!)
Also there is a great restaurant with loads of quirky stuff in it (no not the food which is lovely) .
Go and pay homage!!!