Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 22 February 2008

Garden Envy

I seriously want this place.

A 'secret garden' of a fifth of an acre hugging the Avon Gorge in Bristol with views to the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. It's totally derelict and up for auction on March 12th at Bristol Zoo.

The garden did once belong to a house, but its previous sellers kept the garden for themselves. Then sadly, over the years it became derelict. The auction catalogue says:
'The property consists of a walled terrace garden to the side of the Gorge connected to Princes Lane via a door through a wall and a flight of steps to the first terrace, leading to a further flight of steps leading to a larger terrace. The garden is currently overgrown and this is an ideal opportunity for enthusiastic gardeners to restore this area to their own particular taste.'

When interviewed by the local paper, the auctioneer Peter Beddoe said:
"There are mature fruit trees on the site, with two level terraces reached by various flights of steps, but everything is overgrown. It is in a stunning location, with wonderful views, and one of the great joys is the terraces are walled on three sides. You get to the garden through a door in a wall but the first terrace is about 30ft below the road and is reached by steps, with more steps leading to the second terrace. There are no services, such as water, but there is a great opportunity for a gardener to restore it to something which will be spectacular."

Sigh. I can afford the auction guide price, but not the hefty budget needed to do the garden justice. In my dreams however, I'm there, it's mine and it's wonderful.

With thanks to Morgan Beddoe for the image used in this post.

Update - the garden never got to auction. A buyer bought the plot for nearly 4 times the guide price on the day of the sale. I think at that price the buyer's speculating they can get planning permission to build there - oh boo!


  1. That does sound amazing. A great place to dream about even if you don't eventually buy it. A secret garden sounds so much more exciting than an allotment!


  2. Very nice too! Sadly I wouldn't be able to take something like that on as it would play havoc with my dodgy knees.

  3. Now this would be a gardener's dream - wouldn't it be great if you happened to win a lottery? It sounds so cool ... I love the bridge photograph. That is an incredible structure!

  4. A walled garden - my idea of gardening heaven ! What a view too. I would be interested to hear how much it eventually sells for.

  5. Yes it's pretty amazing isn't it? I threw out lots of hints at the National Trust yesterday (it was my volunteer day in the Parks and Gardens department), but sadly they didn't rise to the bait.

    Guess it'll have to be that lottery win then Kate.

    Will keep you all posted on what it sells for - I may even go out there for a viewing!


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