Located in a sleepy hollow in rural Somerset is the beautiful valley garden of Batcombe House, the home of landscape designer Libby Russell.
The garden at Batcombe House has two very distinct stories to tell, divided only by a stone wall concealing the second part of the design from view. Our journey around the garden began with a series of terraces, herbaceous borders filled with rich colour and texture on the first level followed by the Kitchen Garden at the top of the first flight of rose lined stone steps. A wonderfully productive space filled with rows of herbs, salads and veg that carve diagonal lines through each section of the parterre. In the centre of this pleasingly balanced symmetrical space is a pot overspilling with rich textures.
Once we reached the final plateau of the terrace a grass path guided us through the orchard where a small white door lead us in to the second half of the garden. As you walk through the door it opens out on to a very different space, more calm and vast. Even from our hillside vantage point the huge Cedar tree towered high above us. The lawn has been carved into a contemporary amphitheatre, the curved grass banks echoed the furrows made by sheep over the centuries on the banks of the neighbouring landscape. The colours are more muted in the herbaceous borders on this side of the garden, emphasising the dramatic textures and forms of the planting.
The gardens at Batcombe House open for charity as part of the National Open Gardens Scheme.