Wildside, the Bit in the Middle

Last week I posted about a quick visit to Buckland Abbey and hinted that I went somewhere else, between munch stops there. As well as Buckland, just two miles away is the beautiful Garden House, a long time favourite of mine. It was created by Keith Wiley, and considered one of the most innovative gardens in Britain. Keith left the Garden House behind twelve years ago, but he didn’t go very far, Wildside, along with Buckland and the Garden House form a trio of must see gardens, within three miles.

With his wife, artist Ros Wiley, Keith has taken a few acres of field and transformed it into a paradise filled with plants from close to home and around the world. The garden has a naturalistic style, and aims to allow plants to thrive as they would in the wild. They began by developing the lower garden.

It looks so mature, you’d never believe it’s only been twelve years.

The upper garden and the transitional areas are still being worked on, but of course a garden is never finished anyway.

I’m afraid it was a rainy day, I was holding my camera and an umbrella and both wobbled around, so my photos don’t do the garden justice. I’ll just have to go back again!

The garden is only open a few days each year, and they have a few plants for sale. My eyes feasted on a little Molly the Witch peony, I brought it home and hope I can keep it alive. Keith and Ros were there and happy to chat, I asked how many people they have helping them. The answer, none, they’ve done it all on their own, a remarkable feat.

I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area at the right time, and I intend to watch the future developments of this glorious floral canvas.