Set high on chalk downs above the village of Broughton in Hampshire, The Buildings seems an island afloat in a sea of farmland, a huddle of house, barn, garden and copse surrounded by fields of arable crops on one side and placidly grazing water buffalo on the other. Gillian Pugh moved here in 1972 when the walled garden was little more than a grassy courtyard with a single apple tree.
Nowadays, framed by the soft apricot walls of the house and the sweep of red oxide iron sheet roofing the timber barn, the garden is a canvas of creative planting, bursting with vibrant colour, texture and variety, designed to withstand climate change as well as please the eye. Tall grasses such as pale Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' and glittering golden oat grass, Stipa gigantea, mix with soaring herbaceous perennials like purple flowered Vernonia crinita 'Mammuth' and pretty sunflower Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'. Below are Mediterranean shrubs including silvery helichrysum and Lotus hirsutus, a hairy clover, dark waxy leaved Bupleurum fruitosum, felty Ballota pseudodictamnus, and purple sage anchor the composition.
Inspired by the new perennials movement Gillian's garden is a gorgeous tapestry at its best in late summer and autumn.