The Stumpery, Fernery, woodland garden, wildlife pond & grotto.


This area of the garden is Italianate, and was inspired by our numerous visits  to the ancient ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The wild life pond is surrounded by rockwork that gently rises up to the woodland garden and rocky outcrop. The planting scheme in this area is informal, and includes a variety of Ferns and Hostas. This provides a luscious green shady area that envelopes you as you sit and ponder. Alongside the pond is a newly created woodland garden that was completed and replanted in the winter and spring of 2019. Also included is a ‘Stumpery’ and is based on the Victorian concept when hollow tree stumps were planted with Ferns and other shade – loving plants. Twisted and gnarled tree stumps and roots were often clustered together, and they formed impressive displays. The Stumpery provides a mysterious backdrop to the wildlife pond. It was planned and developed during late May 2007, and was inspired by our visit to view the magical gardens and the Stumpery at Highgrove  that are owned by HRH The Prince of Wales .A cluster of juxtaposed hollow tree stumps have been planted with Ferns and Hostas. This area of the garden is  shaded, and provides ideal growing conditions for shade loving plants, and this led  to our decision to revive the Victorian concept of a ‘Fernery’, where collections of Ferns were displayed in cool, and luscious shady rocky outcrops and Grottos.

The pond supports a variety of wild life that has quickly established. Frogs inhabit the garden, and help to keep down the numbers of garden pests, and dragonflies regularly hover over the area during the summer months. The stone and rocky Grotto which serves as a back-drop to the pond, and  is a highly theatrical feature of the garden. Water gently trickles from the stone Grotto, and falls into the wildlife pond below.

The wildlife pond is profusely planted with a variety of aquatic plants, and a large Gunnera with its giant leaves is located near the edge of the pond.

A large neo classical Roman style bench is located in front of the water cascade and Grotto. A copy of a doorway from the ancient ruins of Pompeii also adds to the  Italianate character of this area of the garden, together with a  classical stone table that was designed by Guy Portelli. A classical statue that is a copy of an original that was originally owned by Napoleon Bonaparte and once stood in the Villa Borghese, now stands alongside the pond.