Garden created with love at Newsham, Barnard Castle

PUBLISHED: 17:04 02 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:55 20 February 2013

Garden created with love at Newsham, Barnard Castle

Garden created with love at Newsham, Barnard Castle

The south facing garden at Ivy House at Newsham near Barnard Castle is stocked with a huge variety of plants, set off by a lawn that would make a golfer proud<br/>Words and pictures by Linda Viney

The south facing garden at aptly named Ivy House, Newsham near Barnard Castle, is stocked with a huge variety of plants which are set off with an immaculate lawn.

This is thanks to owner, John Ord, who as a keen golfer, took note of how the groundsmen kept the greens smart.

If I spot a dandelion or any weed shooting up in the grass it gets a quick squirt of weedkiller to remove it, ensuring it doesnt re-appear, he said
When I retired I had more time to spend in the garden and always wanted a beautiful lawn to set of the planting. I have been mainly responsible for the hard landscaping, as my wife Carol is the plantswoman. Although with more time I am acquiring more knowledge.

Situated on a sloping site, two large Wellingtonia trees give a good backdrop and recently, further up from these John has started a small orchard where, a couple of years ago, he tried, unsuccessfully, growing vegetables. He ended up grassing the area over with seed.

John also created a lovely large pond area out of stone with a
waterfall. He has become quite skilled, making some beautiful stone walls with stone from the plot plus some from a local farmer.

John and Carol moved here when John retired early from his retail business. The house had previously been used by a doctor as a holiday home and nothing had been done with the garden. The side area was a complete wilderness and had poor soil so they decided to build a garage and create a utility room and kitchen.

The garden is located on a slope and once cleared the top lawn area was flattened, which involved removing a huge hump in the lawn. When the patio was constructed the soil went to raise the terrace, held back by a stone wall and steps leading up to the main garden. The crazy paving for the patio was bought from a local quarry and potted plants add interest and colour.

The curved borders flank either side of the lawn. A grass path leads under pergolas with climbing roses and clematis and a carefully trimmed leylandii hedge forms the backdrop to the whole thing.

Carol absolutely loves plants and it was no hardship for her to begin filling the flower beds with beautiful pretty plants, giving a cottage garden feel. Shrubs add structure and give the added benefit of all year round interest.

A small rockery adds another dimension and again stone comes into its own showing the low more delicate plants off. The border leading up from the patio is broken up with small rocks whilst the conifers are neatly clipped into shape adding height.

True geranium tumbles down over the wall as does London Pride. Carol loves experimenting and her latest project is to create small topiary features, though the low speed of the box is causing some frustration. She hopes soon to have more time to spend in the garden with John as she hopes to work less hours.

An added bonus has been the addition of a conservatory where
a vine trails along the roof. Although it manages to produce grapes, according to John they arent very sweet.

An abutilon thrives here and a fern nestles in an alcove. Sitting here surrounded by plants you get a lovely view of the garden. Seating areas are also found round the garden each positioned enabling a different view of the plot.

John has always loved the outdoor life and therefore enjoys every minute he spends in the garden. The grass is regularly mown, several times a week and yes it certainly does set off the plants. He is becoming more and more enthusiastic as a gardener and his desire for a greenhouse is firmly on his wish list, and hes even planned where it will be sited.

Carol loves propagating plants. She did even more this year as for the first time they opened for the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and had plants for sale. Previously they have opened for church funds and were approached by the NGS to open this year.

Gardens dont just appear - they are created with love and a great deal of hard work. This one has been no exception. Yes, they are lucky to have a beautiful garden, but it has been a journey, and sometimes not an easy one.

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