Destinations for plant lovers: East Lambrook Manor Gardens

For those of us who call the American Midwest home, winter is a great Season to get out of the cold and travel. Alright, let's be honest--it's the only season. Once Spring hits you cannot tear me away from my beds until Frost. This winter seems to be taking no prisoners, and it's got me thinking about my travel bucket list.

On this first edition of Destinations for Plant Lovers, we have the East Lambrook Manor Gardens by renowned gardening writer Margery Fish.

View from the Terrace. Images by East Lambrook Manor Gardens.

View from the Terrace. Images by East Lambrook Manor Gardens.

There is something intrinsically innocent and no-nonsense about cottage style gardens that I gravitate towards. Intending to emulate traditional gardens of the working class dating back to the 14th Century, these gardens included vegetables, herbs, and a few perennials. The style was propelled by the Arts & Crafts movement in the early 20th Century  by Gertrude Jekyll and Lawrence Johnston among others, with more perennials and free-seeding specimens and fewer vegetable patches. Yet what Fish managed to champion through these gardens was something quite different from her contemporaries. It appears that this garden was designed on a much more intimate scale, and by doing so Fish maintained the practicality and simplicity of the working gardens of old.

'The Ditch' at East Lambrook Manor Gardens in Spring.  ©  Copyright  Eugene Birchall   

'The Ditch' at East Lambrook Manor Gardens in Spring. © Copyright Eugene Birchall 

It is pleasant to know each one of your plants intimately because you have chosen and planted every one of them.
— Margery Fish

To me this approach set the precedent for two core principles: making gardening accessible to the layman, and releasing our tight grip on nature's hand. These lessons are relevant still today, may we rise to the challenge!