On June 4 Broadwoodside, a private garden in the small village of Gifford, opened for the National Garden Scheme Open Gardens. For one day a year the public is invited to see the the garden that Anna and Robert Dalrymple and their gardener have created over the past 17 years from a derelict farmstead.
Broadwoodside has received lots of positive attention from horticultural publications far greater than mine, which you can read about here, so I'm loathe to repeat those stories here. Instead I'd rather write about what Broadwoodside actually looked like on this particular day, and how it felt to be within it.
The garden is entered up a simple mown grass path through a meadow interplanted with trees and roses. After having worked so hard at my own farm to maintain mulch circles around trees that were essentially planted in a hayfield, I would like to embrace the relative ease of this cultivation technique. I like the casualness of this approach as it feels like the beginning of an adventure into a private space, which of course it is. If you couldn't tell it from the artwork displayed around the entrance meadow, it becomes clear when one passes through this garden gate that what lies ahead will be a creative and whimsical space.
Through the gate one immediately enters a small vegetable garden. It's not really enough space to grow anything on a scale I'd like, and not as lush as the surrounding borders, but I appreciate the nod to the walled garden's practical origins.
The rest of the garden is an unusual mix of formal and casual as a rectangular pond edged with willow (Salix) provides the structural core around loose mixed borders backed by espaliered fruit trees growing on the walls. The willow pond was very much a "look at me" feature in this garden, and it felt like a space to pass through instead of a space to be lived in or even one that would invite much pause. I suppose the interest lies in the ever-changing Salix, which is cut each year and then allowed to grow up to nine feet tall over summer, effectively creating a room within a room and an area that felt a bit disconnected from the lush herbaceous borders around it.
I enjoyed the view from a little bench tucked into the corner, below.
So often herbacious borders are viewed from one direction--outside looking in--and this perch provided the unique vantage point of being within the border.
Next, we'll travel deeper into the garden and see some of my favorite bits.