The English Garden

The Art of Alchemy

Change is the lifeblood of a garden. From the micro to the macro it is forever in flux. Plants self-seed, run, colonise. They senesce, retreat, die. The weather changes on a sixpence, and the seasons provide an overarching framework of alteration. We may wish otherwise, but gardens do not remain static. And when we embrace change and the opportunities it affords, that’s when gardens take our breath away.

“Gardens change; they develop, decay and are altered,” says Lady Emma Barnard, of Parham House and Garden in West Sussex. “Parham’s garden walls date from the 18th century, but it is possible that the land had been cultivated for hundreds of years before then. Our only ‘rule’ is to work

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