Carriages or early motor cars would have swept into the courtyard under the arch so that passengers could alight and enter through the front door.
The sandstone walls opposite the house were cleared of overhanging wisteria a few years ago and the walls repaired. Some new blocks were inserted and the mortar replaced as necessary. The borders below these walls were redesigned by Nick Delves, Gardener, based around Mrs Beale’s planting schemes. They follow the Arts and Crafts theme of mixing the countryside with the garden and so we have grasses, daisies and achilleas growing here along with many varieties of salvias. These late summer and autumn perennials form the permanent planting and then seasonal planting brings splashes of colour such as the magnificent display of tulips in the spring. Along one of the walls 5 Cupressus sempervirens ‘Pyramidalis’ have been planted to represent the 5 chimneys around the courtyard.
In October 2013 the old weatherboards on the house will be removed and replaced. The existing boards are oak and will be replaced with green oak (therefore working to the original specifications). Looking closely you can see a small area near the arch that was done a little while ago as a trial. At this time the plants in the borders adjacent to the house will be removed and then following the building work they will be replanted following the original designs. The wiring on the house walls will be reinstated so that the plants can be trained. Sandstone edging will be re-instated along the edges of the borders.
Last year we introduced the collections of terracotta pots in the courtyard and elsewhere around the garden. Looks similar to this are found at ‘Great Dixter’ and are typical of an Arts and Crafts garden. The pots are replanted or rotated to give seasonal interest and colour.
The original walnut tree (nearly every farm had a walnut tree) has been replaced as it was blown down in the 1987 storm. This is on the corner of the Little Orchard by the steps leading up to the entrance into the stableyard. The curve on the sandstone wall here was designed by Philip Webb to echo the shape of the canopy of the walnut tree.