Open Gardens – Pine Walk
Pine Walk is open as part of Weldmar's 2019 Open Garden's Scheme
1 Pine walk
- 8th September 2019– 11am until 5pm
Situated on the western cliffs above the famous Cobb and the beach of Lyme Regis, the views from this house and garden are truly spectacular – a unique location with a microclimate all of its own bordering on the National Trust Undercliffs and located at the end of a private road, leading to the coastal path much favoured by hikers. To the west dense woodland shelters the garden from salt-laden gales and to the south the garden benefits from the mild influence of the sea whilst the steep ridges towards the north keep out cold arctic winds.
The contemporary architect designed house was built in 2006 and extended in 2018. The current garden was developed from scratch in the same time frame -initially just over weekends and in the last three years it has become a more time involved project with Chris and Erika now living in Lyme full time. The first five years were mostly spend to make the sloping site more accessible by building paths and steps and to improve the soil structure. There was no designed landscape plan, but rather following intuition and the lie of the land, as well as making the most of the sun and the coastal light.
The garden now consists of a Mediterranean style gravel garden with a split level pond quirky terraced vegetable and fruit beds made on the lower part of the plot – hidden from view. Erika grows apples, pears, plums, figs on espalier and Swiss chard, spinach, celeriac, all kinds of beans, Tromboncino squash and masses of annual summer herbs in the terraced raised beds. To the west the sunny slopes burst with a towering mix of exotic-looking foliage and flowers creating a sumptuous ‘jungly’ feeling in high summer and early autumn. Large-leaved paulownia, hardy palms and bananas jostle with dahlias, cannas and salvias; a monkey puzzle tree and three pencil cypress trees add architectural form together with cordylines, succulent agaves and echiums, giving an effect of lush, exuberant growth and vivid colour to make the most of the coastal climate. Shaded by the adjoining woodland is a steep bank planted at its upper end with grasses, colourful winter stemmed shrubs and Rhododenrons descending to a running water feature with roscoeas, podophyllum and water iris and – at the bottom of the woodland steps – on to a fernery planted around logs and roots with mop-head hydrangeas, acers and tree ferns.
The summer house has a green roof planted up with houseleeks, dianthus, dwarf grasses and rhodohypoxis. And close by is the greenhouse where masses of new plants are raised from seed and cuttings for the garden. The eastern side of the garden is reserved for roses, underplanted with lillies, aquilegias, species hydrangeas, summer-flowering clematis and towering foxtail lilies. In high summer this is augmented by cleome, Amni majus and richly-scented purple heliotrope to create a full and ebullient look. Closer to the house a prairie style border with rudbeckia, asters, grasses and echinacias completes the kaleidoscope. Due to the variation of height on this plot Chris & Erika have chosen not to have a lawn – a decision which has never been regretted. A new Wintergarten was added as part of the extension in 2018, containing an interesting collection of cacti, tillandsias and rare plants mainly from southern Africa.
How to find the garden:
Please enter Pine Walk via the Holmbush car park at the top of the town. Our house is the last property on the left hand side.
- Entry: Suggested donation of £2.50
- No Disabled Access
- Toilets Available
- Plant Sales
- Photos of the garden are allowed
- No Dogs Allowed
This garden is part of Weldmar’s 2019 Open Garden’s Scheme