A Seasonal Affair

In March’s ‘The Opportunist’ we unveiled plans for the development of a new Winter Garden focused around ten West Himalayan birch trees planted in the spring of this year. Following a successful summer in the ground those trees have now begun to establish, and the autumn which followed presented yet another window in which to … More A Seasonal Affair

Powered by Plants

Before his marriage to Margaret, and the construction of their family home, Winterbourne’s John Nettlefold cut his teeth in the family firm which eventually became Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (GKN), one of the largest manufacturing companies of its time, first forged in the heat of the industrial revolution. John began work in the firm’s Broad … More Powered by Plants

Snapshot: Now and Then

 Winterbourne’s broad terrace was employed successfully by architect, JL Ball, as a means of transitioning from house to garden. Ball prescribed a typically understated treatment of the retaining wall and in particular the small verandah which links projecting cross wings on either side: ‘the ceiling and walls inside the verandah to be whitewashed and the … More Snapshot: Now and Then

Food for Thought

When Winterbourne’s architect, Joseph Lancaster Ball, was instructed by the Nettlefolds to design the hard landscape immediately surrounding the property, he gave as much care and attention to the five-sided Walled Garden as he did to the house itself. Here, Arts and Crafts traditions emerged again in the surrounding country first tamed by Ball, and … More Food for Thought

Metamorphoses

All good gardens impart narrative; that is, they exist in conversation with the surrounding landscape, evoke memories of the past and give meaning to the future. Good gardens tell the story of their makers. Yet over time, that story often becomes not a permanent account of a fixed moment in time, but a fluid exchange … More Metamorphoses

Snapshot: Blue

“Gentian-blue is a useful word, bringing to mind the piercingly powerful hue of the Gentianella. So also is turquoise-blue, for the stone has little variety of shade, and the colour is always of the same type. Forget-me-not blue is also a good word, meaning the colour of the native water Forget-me-not. Sky-blue is a little … More Snapshot: Blue

Winterbourne Diary: Peter Rabbit and the Accidental Mycologist

Helen Beatrix Potter is best known for her brilliantly illustrated tales which still delight children as much today as they did when they first appeared one hundred years ago at the beginning of the 20th century. Potter began drawing as a child and spent her formative years visiting galleries in London for inspiration. Potter later developed her own … More Winterbourne Diary: Peter Rabbit and the Accidental Mycologist

The Opportunist

Birches have an extremely long history in the Northern Hemisphere. Amongst the first plants to re-colonise Britain at the end of the ice-age, even Otzi, the 5,000 year old ‘Iceman’ of the Alps, was preserved carrying two containers made of Birch bark. This long lineage is due in part to their eagerness to colonise. Birches … More The Opportunist