Miranda and William Kendall are again opening their delightful gardens at By The Crossways for the benefit of the St Elizabeth Hospice.
This 3 acre wildlife garden is designed as a garden within an organic farm, where wilderness areas lie next to productive beds, a large semi-walled vegetable and cutting garden, plus a spectacular crinkle-crankle wall. Extensive perennial planting, grasses and wild areas are set around the owner’s Edwardian family home built by suffragist ancestor.
Since a major redevelopment nine years ago, By The Crossways has evolved into a well-rounded family and wildlife friendly garden that reflects much of the ethical philosophy and aims of the owners. This is a garden designed to look good at any season and on any day of the year. The garden is surrounded by traditional farm hedgerows and numerous mature trees, both ornamental and native. Many more trees and shrubs have been planted recently, some of which are pruned as topiary or to extend internal hedges and divisions. A few large dead trees are being left to rot and collapse naturally over time and have become interesting features in their own right. Much of the planting can be described as loosely naturalistic, blending perennials, bulbs and grasses with ornamental shrubs into a matrix which changes in emphasis over the seasons. Much of this new planting is also designed to blend seamlessly into the natural organic farm landscape. Familiar garden plants jostle with their wild cousins and weeds are welcome if they add to the rich visual tapestry. This garden is not highly manicured which more traditionally minded gardeners may find alarming! The ‘lawns’ have quite a complex and variable mowing regime which can be horrifying to connoisseurs of fine lawns but lovers of wildflower filled lawns buzzing with honeybees, butterflies and other wildlife will surely appreciate. A swimming pool garden and crinkle-crankle wall planted with many heat and drought tolerant plants as well as unusual fruiting trees and shrubs add interest and contrast to the wilder areas. A large utility area is given over to vegetables and soft fruit and an old orchard has had new trees recently planted in an ongoing rejuvenation programme. An increasing range of cut-flowers are also being grown, many of which are sold in Maple Farm’s small farm shop.
The garden is mostly flat, with paved or gravel pathways around the main house, a few low steps and extensive grass paths and lawns.