Sylvia and Michael Bennett's Garden

Sylvia and Michael Bennett's Open Sunday was open on the 3rd June 2017 in Bingham, Nottinghamshire.

Photos from the Open Day

Paved front garden and entrance passage up steps opening to a retirees' small but unusual shaped sheltered back garden on three levels (more steps).

Started from scratch in 2006 now has lawn, small trees, fruit bushes in shaped cage, small raised vegetable garden, climbers, small pond and plantswoman's flower garden - a lot in a small space!

The builders of this new house had been unable to sell it for a year so had decided they had to do something to make its garden look more than a bed of rubble. They therefore paved the front and terraced the back garden in three levels with a few brick walls or two and put in a flowering rhododendron - never mind that the soil would not suit it.

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There is an old apple tree (discovered to be a

variety called Gladstone from 1868), a black plum tree (which subsequently died) and a scrawny lilac on the upper lawn. The middle part they covered with slate chippings which my husband valiantly dug into the clay beneath which improved the soil considerably.However, it meant that there was no chance to change the layout and we were stuck with it.

We put in all the 100 plants we had bought with us and then began the fun of buying plants and finding all the special nurseries around. I enlisted the help of Andrew Ward from Norwell for the herbaceous middle area but after that it was the Hardy Plant Society and Plant Heritage plant sales.

After 10 years the result is a small garden suitable for the elderly (if you ignore the steps) full of fruit, vegetables, trees and lots and lots of plants in a sheltered space. All are treasures and some are unusual. Come and see.