The English Garden

FINE ARTS

Surrounded by mature woodland deep in the Surrey hills, the house and gardens at Norney Wood is enveloped in a tangle of leafy canopies. The shady driveway opens up to reveal an Edwardian house fringed with elegant topiary, hydrangeas and Japanese maple – a prelude to the hidden treasures that lie beyond.

The owners, Jean and Richard Thompson, bought the 20-acre property in 2006 with the idea of transforming the grounds into a garden that could be enjoyed both as a private space and an oasis for the local community to visit and share in their love of plants and nature. The task was not for the faint-hearted, however, since both house and garden needed extensive work. “There wasn’t a single flowering plant when we arrived,” explains Jean. “Our first call was to garden designers

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