South Wood Farm, Devon.
This time of year is always a time for transition, out with the old and in with the new. We look forward to the autumn every year, a damp mist arrives surrounding the valleys of our home in Somerset. The air feels somewhat fresher, reinvigorating that feeling of change and the start of a new chapter. Early morning coffee in the garden is accompanied by knitwear and the feeling of not wanting to sit down, but keep moving along the garden path to vend off the chill.
Words by Matt Green
Gardens can be spectacular this time of year with the fading grandeur of summer, the ornamental grasses and seed heads of the much-loved perennials take centre stage and wildlife scurries busily around gathering for the colder months ahead. One such garden that is a joy to visit this time of year is South Wood farm in Devon. Designed by the garden designer Arne Maynard; this garden is expertly crafted into the landscape surrounding the 17th century thatched farmhouse. Yew topiary seemingly intertwines with herbaceous borders, orchards and meadows, with a kitchen garden taking centre stage at the heart of the garden.
Upon arrival to the garden, we were given a map, a scan of an old watercolour of the garden. Quickly though we soon realised the map was not really needed (as lovely as it was). The design is made up of a series of rooms with several pathways leading off in different directions, encouraging the visitor to take their own journey through the garden. Eventually all paths seem to arrive at the kitchen garden. For us this was the standout room, beautiful companion planting with vegetables and ornamentals perfectly sitting in harmony. Wonderful hazel structures and supports entangle their way through swathes of sunflowers, dahlias, fennel and an abundance of edibles.
We always look to visit a garden at this time of year that not only gets us excited for autumn but also inspires us for next spring and South Wood farm most certainly did this.