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In the second of our two posts about Bury Court, we look at the garden designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole.

The front garden was a later addition to Bury Court and provides a contrast to the courtyard garden. This garden is designed around a formal grid pattern of rusted steel-edged beds and gravel paths and the garden is planted with swathes of tall grasses mixed with carefully selected flowering perennials to create a dream-like meadow feel.* A contemporary reflective pool and seating area are at its heart.


The linear design of the seating area ties in with the grid pattern of the garden layout. The spaces between the wooden uprights provide framed vistas of the surrounding garden.


The arching stems and golden flowerheads of the grass Stipa gigantea stand out amongst the greenery of the surrounding foliage.


Hakonechloa macra ‘Alboaurea’ cascades over the side of the corten steel edging.


The dark pool reflects the sky and the foliage of the grasses that run alongside.


The masses of rich red bottle brush-like flowers of Sanguisorba officinalis form a silhouette  against the sky.



One of the paths that intersect the garden flanked either side by deep borders filled with different grasses and perennials.


A mass planting of Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’. The upright stems and form of the grass echo the vertical wooden panels of the building.

Further information:

Bury Court –

Christopher Bradley-Hole –

*Source –

Photo Credits: Garden Design Eye


Bury Court in Surrey showcases the work of two leading designers; Piet Oudolf and Christopher Bradley-Hole. Garden Design Eye were excited to get the opportunity to visit Bury Court where both of these designers have created gardens.

In the first of two blog posts we take a look at the walled garden at Bury Court designed by Piet Oudolf.

The contemporary walled garden is a well-known garden recognised for its grasses and hardy perennials. Planted in 1997, the walled garden was the first naturalistic garden designed by Piet Oudolf in Britain*. The planting in the garden is a mixture of the ornamental grasses and perennials that are his signature.



A cobbled stone pathway works its way around the garden and past luxuriantly planted borders and sculpted box and yew hedges.


As the visitor follows the path around the garden, different vistas of the garden and its areas of planting are presented, such as the stylised meadow in the background of the photos above and below.



The meadow planting uses Molinia grasses and is interspersed with red clover “Trifolium rubens” and foxgloves, plus other perennials.



A closer view of the meadow planting, here the emerging stems of Allium sphaerocephalon mingle with the flower heads of the red clover.


The deep borders on the eastern side of the garden are filled with taller plants at the back of the border, such as the spires of the veronicastrum, and shorter plants at the front of the border, such as sedum and salvia.


The mass of plants jostle for space and spill over on to the path. Geranium, salvia and agastache are used repeatedly in the garden.



Stipa gigantea grasses add their stature, elegance and height to the borders.




Inspiring planting combinations can be seen throughout the garden.


Contrasting foliage forms and textures; Rodgersia, digitalis and gaura.


Eryngium, anthemis and stipa tenuissima in combination.


Eryngium and phlomis paired together.


Plants with spires and strong vertical accents are much in evidence.



Topiary is used here to create a lattice effect.


Broad leaved bog and marginal plants fringe the pond.


For more information:

Bury Court:

Piet Oufolf:

Photo credits: Garden Design Eye

The Chelsea Physic Garden can be found a short distance away from where the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show is held. The garden covers 3.8 acres with Royal Hospital Road to the north and the Embankment to the south. The Physic Garden at Chelsea was founded by the Society of Apothecaries in 1673, so that their apprentices could learn to grow medicinal plants and study their uses. Today the garden is still dedicated to promoting education, conservation, and scientific research.

The garden is divided by gravel paths into quadrants, which are then mostly sub-divided into rectilinear beds – an original design feature of the garden. These borders have plants grouped by their culinary and medicinal uses, plants for perfumery and cosmetics, and others used for the manufacture of fabrics and dyes.

The formal design of the botanical garden is broken by trees which often have a multitude of uses, and include an ancient yew. A Historical Walk allows you to follow the Garden’s own history, with plants introduced into cultivation by notable botanists, such as Sir Joseph Banks and Robert Fortune.


Evidence of formality: demonstrated by a row of neatly clipped bay trees pruned as ‘lollipop’ standards.


Sweet cicely ‘Myrrhis odorata’ in the culinary borders.


Scarlet red poppies in the pharmaceutical borders.


Wildlife flourishes in the garden, and frogs, toads and newts inhabit the Tank Pond which was restored in 2004. The Flag Iris is in flower at the ponds edge.


The fresh green foliage of the virginia creeper ‘Parthenocissus quinquefolia’ stand out beautifully against the black panel fence.


Some lovely examples of architectural foliage – Cynara cardunculus is in the image below.



Gravel paths work their way through the garden and take the visitors past many different plants of interest.



The towering spires of the Echium give a tropical feel to the gardens. The sheltered situation and high brick walls enclosing the gardens help to provide a micro climate for less hardy plants to grow.


An imaginative way of creating a vertical herb garden by using a stack of wooden crates.

Whether for the serious plant enthusiast or the casual garden visitor, the Chelsea Physic Garden is a delight to visit and a great place to discover and learn about plants and their huge array of uses.

To find out more about the Garden and its activities visit

Photo credits: Garden Design Eye

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