The garden at Dedham Hall Hotel, Essex
Here are some photos of a beautiful cottage garden at Dedham Hall Hotel, a 15th century Manor House in the heart of Constable Country. We stayed there last week in order to visit the Beth Chatto Gardens nearby.
It was Wendy and Jim’s garden here at the hotel that I fell in love with.
See what you think.
Some gardens move our emotions and some don’t. It’s such a personal thing. I’ve written about my favourite cottage garden, East Lambrook Manor and how I try to copy that style.
Well Dedham Hall Hotel certainly has that style and when I walked in it took my breath away.
The brick paving and paths were pale and higgledy piggledy and I just loved that. You had to watch your step but how lovely compared to a power washed pavement in a garden.
Why did I like this garden so much?
Because it looked so artless, so natural, as though it hadn’t been obsessed over. Actually it looked quite neglected and that’s why I loved it. I hope the owner will take that as a compliment.
The plants that were thriving and doing their thing were clearly in exactly the right place – rosemaries getting huge in parched dry soil, a honeysuckle in a tiny pot flowering like mad.
And chairs everywhere
just all over the place giving the message that this is a place to be in, to sit in, to stay in, to relax in – not a garden to stand in and admire the neatness and the cleverness of growing difficult plants. There were wheelbarrows everywhere, looking abandoned, and every inch had something wild and interesting growing in it.
Were there weeds?? No idea. Who cares? If you read Jack Wallington‘s book Wild about Weeds you won’t think in terms of weeds any more anyway. Dandelions are fab.
So what can we take from this..
It depends what you want from a garden I suppose. We all use them for a different purpose. If I wanted somewhere to melt into, to calm my mind and my soul, to feel part of the natural world and also have a place to potter and do some nice gardening, this would be the place. The fact that they run residential art courses year round shows in the feel of the place and the pictures on the walls.
We saw it in early May and their website has photos of the garden in other seasons – I could see lupins that were about to go bonkers.
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Thankyou for reading and good gardening………
13 comments on "Dedham Hall Hotel – a beautiful cottage garden"
Just Fabulous!!! I thank you so much for sharing.
I enjoy reading your blog it’s so down to earth and unfussy. This is the first time I have commented but the photos you published of the building and the garden are devine! My own garden is very small but I have made sure there is an untidiness about it no neat borders or edges for me!
Oh Lynn thankyou so much for saying so. My husband took the photos and yes aren’t they lovely. That’s a big compliment to say my blog is unfussy and down to earth – that is just what I am aiming for because there are so many clever blogs out there. Hurrah for no neat borders or edges. Most gardens are small aren’t they. Ours is 7 metres by 11 metres. Best wishes, Julie
Such an idyllic garden. Love like you the natural wild look and the creativity with planting that has gone into it. Thank you for introduction to such a wonderful place.
Shall read your other articles for inspiration.
Thankyou Jenepher for your lovely comment. Yes it was quite idyllic. We were there 2 nights and I’d love to go back in summer and autumn – it must be lovely. Very friendly simple easy hotel too. Best wishes, Julie
Yes! My kind of garden. Thanks for sharing.
Thankyou Beverly, I find it very encouraging that people like what I post. Best wishes Julie
You’re making such an important point here – a few years ago I realised my (small)garden was stressing me out and keeping up with the tidiness nonsense was exhausting me. Since I started to let it all go a bit (not easy, it was something I had to learn to do) I’ve been enjoying it a lot more. Simply sitting in it without a critical eye or a pair of secateurs in my hand is a joy. I just wish I’d done it years ago 😊 Thankyou for posting these beautiful photos. This place looks glorious.
Thankyou for your lovely encouraging comment Joan. I am lucky my husband took those lovely photos for me. We all have small gardens really don’t we and I agree it is so hard to learn to just sit still and not jump up and keep doing things. I do hope you continue to have a lovely relaxing time in your garden and me too. Best wishes Julie
An excellent report and a very enjoyable read, Julie. Many thanks. This is certainly a very pleasant space though I would be inclined towards a little more tidying up and neatness! Paddy
A very fair point Paddy and I was itching to pull up a few things myself. Thanks for your comment and best wishes, Julie
Great looking garden, it doesn’t have to be always super neat, that looks works in this garden and its care takers must be happy & relaxed!) and it’s clearly functional – love the chairs too!
I featured your article on my newsletter, hopefully it interests a few more visitors to the garden: https://www.veg-geek.com/newsletters/16052022
Oh that’s super Anthony, thankyou. I’m thinking their garden must be even more fabulous now and in high summer it’s really gorgeous too. Thanks for commenting and reading my blog. Best wishes, Julie