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VIDEO - Hanham Court Gardens

The garden designers Julian & Isabel Bannerman are still developing this rich mix of bold formality, water, woodland, orchard, meadow and kitchen garden with emphasis on scent, structure and romance, set amid a remarkable cluster of manorial buildings between Bath and Bristol.

Among the treats are a golden crown that dances miraculously upon a jet of water; adell crowded with snowdrops, ferns, tree ferns, magnolias, primroses and violets a stream gurgles into grotto, waterfalls, ponds; meadows and orchard, never tampered with by agriculture, team with cowslips, sawwort, lady's bedstraw; a giant spreading Walnut tree harbours a carpet of snowdrops, snakeshead fritillaries, and, beneath the emerging aromatic walnut leaves, hammocks and cool cow parsley. The enclosed garden, on a walled bastion, is structured with clipped yew and box bursting with an extravagant weave of spring scented daphne, vanilla viburnum, sweet rocket, auriculas. When the house is clad with heady wisteria, rockii tree peonies vie with alliums, lilac, pinks. Mock orange and moss roses wrestle with sweet peas and honeysuckle. In high summer pots of lilies, heliotrope and lemon verbena are overhung with creamy magnolias and in August aromatic cistus, basil and thyme are joined by the peppery phlox, datura and dahlias. The smells and saturated colour can all be enjoyed from seats in shady summer houses, by sunny walls, in the kitchen garden and greenhouse. Some refreshments and scented plants from the garden are for sale.

Plants of interest

Snowdrops and aconites in Feb; tree peonies, wisteria and witch hazels in May; hot borders of dahlias etc in Sep

Opening times and location

Weds 17 Feb (11.30-3.30); 19 May; 1 Sept (2-5).

Located 5m E of Bristol centre. Old Bristol Rd A431 from Bath, through Wilsbridge, L down Court Farm Rd for 1m. Drive entrance on L


Adm £6.50, chd £3.50 For more information visit www.hanhamcourt.co.uk