Vann Garden in Godalming, Surrey has open days throughout Spring under the National Garden Scheme. It is a treat to find a garden which looks good so early in the year when my cut flower garden at home is only just beginning to show signs of life after Winter. Vann Garden is a celebration of Spring flowers and and I visited on a perfect sunny day.
The garden is fun to explore because you stumble across different areas. Whilst not occupying a large plot of land the space is cleverly used and divided up into ‘rooms’ by a combination of shrubs, trees and topiary. The different levels of the land also help to create these hidden moments and the Garden has a delightful air of secrecy.
Water features heavily - there is a water garden, dell and stream - which increases the variety of plants on display and creates a tranquil atmosphere. The ferns and grasses on the banks of these were looking particularity luscious. In the woodland walk there was a carpet of bright daffodils, dusky hellebores and delicate fritillarias - one of the most impressive collections of the latter to be seen growing wild.
At the centre of Vann Garden is a beautiful period house inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. The house itself bedecked with rose vines and a trailing clematis armandii which looked magnificent under swathes of blush pink flowers, and the structures low into the garden by way of a pergola. The planting in the formal garden which surrounds the house was inspired by Gertrude Jeckyl and characteristically the borders have a silvery blue sheen. Colour is also used effectively against the red brick of the house.
One of my favourite areas in any garden is always the vegetable patch and Vann has an elegant potager jardin and a large greenhouse. It was here that I met the owner of Vann, Mary Caroe, who with gardening gloves in hand was talking passionately to all her guests about the garden. What an inspiring lady and an inspiring garden.