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23rd May 2017

Inspired by RHS Flower Show?

The Chelsea Flower Show is still one of the most important dates in the calendar for anyone who is passionate about gardening and keen to see the latest trends in planting and garden design. Each year the show attracts 157,000 visitors to the diverse gardens and stands which cover 11 acres. It is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society and its coveted gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze medals are what every exhibitor is striving for. Most visitors are drawn to the large stunning show gardens but hot on their heels are the small gardens, artisan gardens and window boxes which provide design ideas for those with even the smallest of spaces.

The amazing displays in the vast marquees achieve standards way beyond the dreams of most amateur gardeners but like the outdoor gardens they are nothing if not inspirational. Even a half day visit to Chelsea is almost bound to have an impact and a desire to try and emulate just a little of the beauty of Chelsea.

The English have a history of being keen gardeners; it is somewhere in the country’s DNA. The vast majority of purchasers of houses are keen to assess not just the scope of the interior of a property but also its garden, whether the need is for a child safe play area or to emulate something close to a Chelsea garden. If your aim is the latter then there seem to be three basic options. Buying a property and employ a landscape architect to create your perfect garden and sit back and watch it mature; do the work from scratch yourself and appreciate there is no gain without pain; or find a property that already has an established garden with all the fundamental elements in place, including the hard landscaping and gradually devise a planting and colour schemes to suit your choice. For most people the latter is the preferred and most practical option. Two properties currently on the market which have beautiful established gardens just waiting for new owners to love and cherish them are Compton House, just north of Chichester in the South Downs National Park, and Fiddler’s Croft in Hertfordshire about three and a half miles west of Bishop’s Stortford.

Compton House is a beautiful Regency former rectory which is Listed Grade II. It has 5 reception rooms, 4 principal bedrooms on the first floor and a further 4 bedrooms on the second floor. A range of outbuildings offer considerable scope but what makes Compton House so special is the beautiful walled garden. The well-stocked borders, mature hedging, specimen ornamental trees and pergola covered terrace which provides a sheltered vantage point from which to enjoy the garden, not to mention a potentially productive kitchen garden, are likely to fulfil the wishes of any keen gardener wanting to bring their Chelsea flower show ideas home with them.

Similarly, Fiddler’s Croft, a wonderful quintessential example of an English country house and garden, offers a future owner the chance to create a very special garden. The Grade II* listed building has 4/5 bedrooms and is believed to date from the early 17th century. It sits in just under two and a half acres of mature grounds surrounded by farmland. The formal garden is divided into a series of “rooms” by mature hedging. The former tennis or croquet lawn could be reinstated or be used as a children’s play area. Beyond the traditional herbaceous beds and shrubbery, the garden gradually “melts” into the countryside with a kitchen garden, old orchard and woodland. With so much of the planting already done the framework is in place and well-established Fiddler’s Croft is just waiting for one of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show visitors to come and realise the potential the property has to offer.

Compton House, West Sussex – asking price £2,600,000.
Fiddler’s Croft, Hertfordshire – asking price £995,000.

Contact Dawn Carritt 020 7664 6646
Director Country House and Estates
23rd May 2017