Woolton House Garden is the only garden in the UK designed by the late Pascal Cribier whose designs were influenced by botanical & Mughal gardens. The walled part of the garden at Woolton House was commissioned in 2004 and is designed to reflect the style of Mondrian paintings. Cribier’s best known work is the restoration of the Tuileries Gardens in Paris in the 1990s with French landscape designer, Louis Benech.
The style of the walled garden is completely unlike any garden I have visited in the UK and its geometric design is quite architectural. Divided by a path with trained mulberries arching overhead, the walled garden is unusually shaped and bordered on one side by glasshouses with a hot border of perennials spilling over its wavy box confines beside long alternating ranks of vegetables and flowers in cooler tones. Ordered symmetry is key here, with angled lines leading off in mathematical precision.
To the other side of the path, the Tramline garden consists of parallel rows of grass, exactly a lawnmower’s width, interspersed with espallier apples and vegetable beds of varying widths.
Three further walled gardens await. A red-paved garden, overhung with vines climbing red pillars features a surprising red table and rectangular beds of red and orange flowers for picking. The overall effect here is slightly oriental with the lacquered table and pillars reflecting the colour of the walls and paving.
The next walled garden is even more of an eye-opener. Row after row of concrete paving slabs are interplanted with sedums and dotted with cacti filled terracotta and glazed pots. However, the overall effect is slightly marred by two or three black plastic tubs housing enormous blue agave plants.
The final walled garden surrounds a perfectly square and totally dramatic green pool cloistered with roses and overflowing greenery. Dominating the pond is a simple geometric brick centrepiece, formerly a Victorian water feature and retained by Cribier when redesigning the space.
Stone steps scattered with Erigeron daisies rise toward the house where towering Verbascum push between cracks in the terrace. Beyond the house lies a lake, overlooked by sculpture.