Bryan's Ground: A Very Different Garden Visit

You know how it is when a song comes on the radio and you have to turn it up to its loudest setting and dance madly round the room, singing along at the top of your voice? Not only that, but you also feel really alive: from the top of your head right down to your toes?

That's exactly how Bryan's Ground made me feel when we went there last Friday. Patient Gardener and Victoria have absolutely no idea that's how I felt, because I was being very British about it all at the time. It's not just loving the garden with both my head and my heart. It goes so much deeper than that, to something more base and instinctive.

I'm not going to analyse why that's so either, because each time I do I have to stop straight away because my head says 'those irises are totally impractical for a long season of interest' and I feel myself beginning to feel deflated. Yet it's precisely the sight of those flowers arranged in their large blocks which made me gasp with astonishment on our arrival.

So instead, I'm just going to continue to enjoy their moment, the way the light was that day and the magic of how I felt at the time.

To do otherwise wouldn't be doing the garden justice.

Victoria has lots to tell you about our visit and will give you the full tour. Patient Gardener also went last year, so she shows you how the garden looks in summer.


  1. How wonderful - I know exactly what you mean about the song thing and feeling totally alive!

    I have never seen irises planted like that and they look quite astonishing.

  2. It was lovely, wasn't it? Some gardens just make you feel happy. I'm glad I was able to share it with you.

  3. Ah, that garden really sang out to you, didn't it? And you sung back. A duet for garden & gardener, that's what it is all about.

    Yolanda XXX

  4. For someone with a gardening blog, I'm a bit odd about gardens. I don't set out to look at them - though I notice some when I pass. I don't go to shows and I think I've only ever been to one garden where you have to pay to go in. (Though I have been to Kew a few times.) Mostly, I'm peering at my own garden on a sort of micro-level.

    But this? This is wonderful. I wish you hadn't enthused about it so much. I hadn't expected that to be your text when the picture came up because you are usually more reserved. I was about to go overboard with enthusiasm but now all I can say is I can imagine a bit of how you felt.

    But why didn't you sing and dance when you were there? I suppose for the same reason I wouldn't have run up and down the avenues with my arms wide open, pretending I am an aeroplane - but that is what I would have wanted to do.


  5. fabulous that you lucked upon that moment in the year with the irises in all their full-bloom, impractical glory! Good gardens stop us in our tracks.

  6. I think the sight of all those irises would make me dance too! Or want to... Just your photo made me grin like a mad woman. And yes, OK, there is a voice in my head saying "but what on earth does it look like when they have all died back?", but that's not really the point - at least, not when it is somebody else's garden ;-)

    PS Word verification is "swetti", so maybe I have been dancing...

  7. Think the the song was Ive got the music in me by Kiki D!
    Lovely post.
    Briefly beautiful is fab - the intensity makes up for the rest of the year.
    In large gardens not everything has to be in flower all the time and you can have areas you visit once a year. Using snowdrops and alliums would I think give you a long season. Seem to remember they use somnething else to extend the season. But I forget what!
    Thanks for the post.

  8. Arabella - isn't it amazing how music can totally transform the way we feel?

    Victoria - I'm still smiling from our visit

    Yolanda - it's the first time I've ever felt like this when visiting a garden

    Esther - this is definitely a garden for pretending to be an aeroplane. You've captured the essence of the way I felt perfectly :)

    Petoskystone - I showed this picture to some friends I bumped into later on that day. It was enough to persuade them to go on a visit the next day

    Lorene - yes, totally lucky. We had to dodge some showers, but they left with the kind of sunshiny dampness which made the light totally magical

    Janet - sometimes it's best not to think and just be. This was one of those times

    Robert - I bumped into one of the garden's creators (David Wheeler)at Chelsea on Monday. He told me (and Victoria) that they have Anemone blanda there doing something v similar (though much lower down) earlier in the spring and that the seedheads of the Iris also look v good later on in the year

    Aund Debbi - good to see you :)

  9. Wow! A case of perfect timing for such a visit. No wonder your heart was singing with joy!

  10. Anna - and thanks to PG for ensuring we got to see it :)


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