Leading the eye … and the feet!

I don’t have many paths in my garden but I very much like the idea of how a path leads the body and mind on a small, mysterious journey – a path in a garden makes us want to follow it to find out what’s at the other end.

This woodland path at Wairere Nursery is part of a pond-side path. There was nothing in particular at the end but it was a pleasant place to be on a hot day. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Wairere Nursery, near Gordonton in Waikato, is a fun place to visit as the owners – Lloyd Houghton and Harry Janssen – live right next door and open their own garden to customers for ideas, inspiration and sheer enjoyment. They have been developing the 3ha site (which had some serious weed issues when they bought it) for almost 30 years.

It’s all about wanting to go round the next corner. Clipped hedges aren’t really my thing but I always admire them in the gardens of others – someone at Wairere had done a fine job. Photo: Sandra Simpson

If you’re planning a trip to England, be sure to factor in at least one of the famous gardens – a visit to an acknowledged long-established, well-tended garden is heaven! Last year we made definite plans to take in a couple and added a couple more when we realised how close we were going to be and regretted not a moment spent at any of them.

Further pre-trip research will help you decide whether a National Trust Touring Pass is a sensible purchase (note that English Heritage is a different organisation and has a separate pass). We should have bought an NT pass, but didn’t … and then visited more properties than we thought we would, so ended up paying more than necessary in entry and parking fees. Many gardens are, of course, privately owned but a surprising number fall into one of the two categories above.

The hazel arch at Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire, a National Trust property. Photo: Sandra Simpson
The long border at Levens Hall (Cumbria) and a path through two hedges to … an irresistible path! Photo: Sandra Simpson

Japanese garden pathways are masterful efforts of understatement, while subtly making a statement!

A bridge made of two stone slabs in Rikugien Garden in Tokyo adds the fascination of a mid-bridge step-change. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Or what about this tempting ‘bridge’ of stepping stones in the Heian Shrine Garden, Kyoto? Photo: Sandra Simpson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s