The Rock Garden
In 1960 the Showering family, of Babycham fame and fortune, were so enthused by an award winning garden at the Chelsea Flower Show that they commissioned a grander version to be planted within the viaduct setting.It was a bold and modern design statement, to which they added water features with water pumped from the original mill pond. It is a mature rockery built using sandstone boulders from the Forest of Dean to edge a man-made stream and waterfall, a well controlled riot of colour and organic shape.
Conifers provide the larger geometric blocks, featuring Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea', mid-green Picea abies 'Albertiana Conica' and the golden columns of Taxus baccata 'Standishii'. Japanese acers show seasonal variation from delicate spring greens to deep autumnal rusts and purples (look out for the burgundy-leafed palmatum dissectum).
Between the rocks hostas, ferns, sedums, rock roses, hardy geraniums, dianthus and helianthemums perch, before the ground hugging primulas, alpine heathers and thyme tuffets (thymus serpyllum) lead your eyes and feet to manicured Cumbrian turf. The turf itself, was returned to the gardens on the back of the family's drink distribution lorries; as the beverages were unloaded, cumbrian turf was packed and returned to be laid at Kilver Court.
The Parterre and Herbaceous BordersCurrent owner Roger Saul redesigned the parterre and herbaceous borders in 1996 when he acquired Kilver Court and breathed new life into the gardens. The parterre is based on the classic French geometric designs found in Les Invalides, and is an immaculate example of low box hedging.
The spaces within the hedges have been filled with roses. Juxtaposing the formal parterre are vibrantly coloured herbaceous borders. Fiery crocosmia 'Lucifer', phlox, indigo hued polemonium and aconitum, globe shaped dahlias and echinops, and delicate orchid-like Tricyrtis formosana form a sensual backdrop full of delicate texture and shape.