The Stumpery, Fernery, wildlife pond, water cascade and 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 with a water cascade is surrounded by rockwork that gently rises up to the woodland garden and rocky outcrop. Planting in the area surrounding the pond is informal, and includes ferns and Hostas. This provides a luscious green shady area  that envelopes you as you sit and ponder.

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, Hostas and surrounded by Ivy.

This area of the garden is very shaded and provides ideal growing conditions for shade loving plants such as Ferns and Hostas, 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 water feature and Grotto is a highly theatrical element in this part of the garden as water tumbles from a grotesque stone mask into a giant clam shell, and the water falls into the wildlife pond below. 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.