The Lavender Lawn follows Philip Webb’s original design. It was always referred to as the Mulberry Lawn by the Beales because of the Mulberry in the centre of the lawn. The original Mulberry was blown down in the 1987 storm. The Mulberry growing here now was a cutting from the one growing in the Chelsea Physic Garden in London which was from the original stock planted by James I when he was trying to start up a silk industry. He intended to feed his mulberry leaves to silkworms but he had unfortunately selected to bring the black mulberry into the country rather than the white variety which is the one favoured by silkworms!
In autumn 2012 we removed the old lavender plants and replaced them with the cuttings that we had taken the previous year and grown on in our nursery. The original plants were purchased as the Munstead variety but it later became clear that they were not and are more likely to be Hidcote but we don’t know for sure. The roses were planted in 2013. Four of these have been in large terracotta pots on the house terrace for a number of years, the other four are new. Over the coming years all of these roses will be trained into an umbrella shape.
Later in the project there will be further restoration work around this area to replace the sandstone edging to the paths, resurface the paths and to rewire the walls of the house to properly support the climbing plants. The area around the Yew, one of the few original trees on the site when the Beales bought the land, will also be smartened up.
Look out here for Acanthus spinosus which is the inspiration for many of William Morris’s designs. Wallpaper examples can be found in the house.