Friars Walk
This long narrow walled garden was originally planted with annuals. In 1995 it was transformed into a hot border: awash in reds, oranges and yellows. Many saw its present transition into a more naturalistic style with a reluctant eye. However, Gerritsen’s subtle new plantings more than compensate the loss. To counter-balance yet contrast with some of the warm colours (the Red-hot pokers were not to be dug up!) he decided to implement an airy planting in shades of brown, bronze, grey and greenish yellow. The overall colour effect throughout the year tends to be yellowish brown. Euphorbias, Bronze fennel, Artemisias and the grasses Deschampsia and Molinia render the tone subdued while a wild effect is attained by liberal sprinklings of Red-veined Dock. This combination contrasts pervasively with feature perennials and the many wonderful shrubs and trees, particularly a majestic Magnolia grandiflora, not to forget an ancient Wisteria sinensis.

This entire garden is a play on light. Whether direct, reflected or refracted there is a jewel to be found at any time of day and throughout every season. These borders are also an illustration of the garden as a dynamic process, where plant “communities” develop, change and evolve in an evolutionary progression.