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If you suddenly became the owner of a large garden, let us say 6 acres, what would you indulge in? 

ok, some of you already have such space but most of us haven't

I have helped shape such a garden but it is not mine .....put in an orchard, large veg plot, lots of ornamentals, a pond, a secret green sitting area, and developed a sunken disused quarry, etc. but all done sort of piecemeal.  They do sort of knit but from a blank canvas   I would prob do things differently.

A vinery would feature strongly if this were mine.....a top gently sloping, south facing field with a view of the sea would be my indulgence.  

A wild meadow plus grasses and sanguisorbas would wave and billow in the breezes.  my dislike for roses would suddenly evaporate as I would indulge in highly scented climbers.  Not too near the more desirable ornamentals of course.

my other indulgence, "if" allowed, would be more woodland.  Trees I cannot grow here 

come on folks, what if........


Deciduous woodland ( peaty, musty smell) with a stream in one part and coniferous (must have strong scent) with a lake in another part.  I love the smell of pine and open water.

A path thinly scattered with gravel so that it makes a crunchy, slippy sound when you walk on it in the rain.

A long, wide herbaceous border with old red brick walls behind it.

A laburnum walk. A conservatory /orangerie with a huge grapevine

A shaded , drippy walk with ferns, moss, hostas etc and the sound of trickling water.

I think I've run out of space. Can I have a few more acres please.


A bluebell carpet in a deciduous woodland (Beech or Oak)  A large Oak tree is essential to hang the swing/ hammock/cacoon from.


I would love a walled kitchen garden (complete with a team of nice young men to tend it for me of course), an ornamental garden, and a woodland walk incorporating a stumpery with lots of different mosses and ferns.

The ornamental garden would feature lots of cottage garden style plants grown informally but tightly contained within large borders and beds edged with box which never gets blight. Lots of height from pergolas, obelisks etc

The woodland area would tend to acid soil for some of the plants I want to grow (rhodies, azaleas, meconopsis etc) and would also have a burbling stream tumbling over boulders (a waterfall would be good too) eventually feeding into a very large pond (small lake really).

The pond would feature lots of cornus for winter colour as well as the usual marginals and aquatic plants. There would be a small boathouse with a rowing boat and a jetty for summer evening G&T's and access to the pond for swimming.

To keep OH happy there would be a range of outbuildings to be used as garages / workshops / music room etc etc

Need a big win (and probably more than 6 acres!) for that little lot....

Last edited: 08 March 2017 08:50:38

Hazel -1

I'd run a mile!............


Definately a very nice tree house - im thinking something repunzel like, only i have access to for horticultural contemplation. along with a coffee maker and wifi. An orchard and herbaceous borders. Also a small hazel copse and a small team of helpers.

Oh and a ride on lawn mower with a drink holder 

😁. Oh to dream x

However back to reality


A group of silver birch with hellebores underneath like they have at Barnsdale.

The tree house  from  Foggy Bottom at Bressingham.

Beaus Mum

Such wonderful what ifs you have all described.

i would like very shallow clear stream running through so I could paddle with Beau.


A driveway lined with azaleas and rhodos and planted with carpets of bluebells, snowdrops, daffs and narcissi. A pond plus a stream. Primulas en masse. Fruit trees for blossom, the fruit would be a bonus.  A wild cottagey garden with paths through it and a secluded " summer "house .  A woodland glade with hellebores, cyclamen, primroses.

Crafty old me eh?? 

Getting good feedback

fidget, those birch trees but with purple acers.  Yep, hellebores to front that lot would be great 

daisy doo, a ride on mower ...but of course.  Tree house?    

Beaus mum, a stream is a must

topbird, rowing boat?  6 acres not 60    The 6 acre garden I discussed earlier is less than a mile from the sea.  your boat could be moored there 

joyce, like your painting very much .....a big must do 

A piggery, free range hens, Geese, ducks, a small paddock all weather for the pony. Already lived in such a place with a walled garden South facing, fruit trees on all the walls including my favourite Victoria plum. A Green Lane adjacent to ride the pony and we have plenty of them around, a small babbling stream at the bottom of the field with hedgerows full of Bramble, Sloe, May, Wild Roses for their Hips and rushes for the wild life. A Hay Meadow wild flowers and to bring back the wonderful scent of Hay making year on year as well as feeding the animals.

A Garden would be a small personal section the rest to work for me, brought up on home cured bacon fresh eggs, produce from the vegetable garden and our own fruit nothing these days tastes the same. The main reason would be to give my Grandchildren the freedoms I had to live with animals learning how to tend them the freedom to roam meadows and lanes, play in water and generally run free in the open air, all these things they do get on occasion but it involves travel and arranging.

My upbringing at the time on smallholding and farm seemed to be the norm, I now realise what I had was unique (there goes that QU again) we had it all, three miles away in the Town they did not hence the flood of people on the bus to our open spaces the Village Green complete with Pond, the Show Field so called because the Barnum and Bailey Show was there in early 1900. The old Mill Walk past our house and down one of the Green lanes mentioned above, every Bank Holiday sunny or wet they flooded in for a few hours fresh air and some of Mothers home made lemonade and cake, "oh and the Garden gate open for them to use the old toilet up the garden".

Indulging myself in that amount of space without using it as more than eye candy would annoy me, my Peony's, Roses bush and climbing, would be a must with enough room in the vegetable garden to rotate and have Tomato's and Strawberry's in season of course.

Reading my Income Tax return yesterday and what I am expected, no told I must pay in the next year, I should have splashed everything on buying such a place years ago and not bothered saving for my old age, we live and learn.


As always, eloquently said Frank .  Can smell the hay, hear the geese and imagine the brook with water chinking over the pebbles ...sun is out too, right ? 

I'd like a stone temple folly so I can stand in it looking windswept and interesting during rainstorms. A walled kitchen garden with a large glasshouse, an orchard with free range chickens and some beehives, a gravelled path through the herb garden, and a 'forest garden' with the a fruit cage big enough for a couple of cherry trees while you're at it as well please. Oh and a long pergola walk, a formal fishpond with stone surround so I can sit and talk to the fish and a cloud hedge.

Verdun, yes today the sun is out though it never did bother me if it was raining. There is always work to do with animals or garden and being an outside man I just got on with it. The Brook or Beck as we call it is just down the hill from me, a lovely walk beside it and up through the woods onto the back lane home and a cup of tea. They had to raise the two bridges at each end because it can become a River, the wild life scatters uphill among the undergrowth and the Vixen sits outside her hole watching us pass, she has no fear as some even put dog food out for her when she has pups. Nature does a wonderful job on her own without help from us hence the small personal garden and let the rest go wild yet managed.

It would be a dream now having reached a good old age when things get a bit difficult more so after the big operation but we are tough in the NE and I do what I can with what I have so with my six acres i would ask for the fitness to work it as I wished.


Ride on mower!



Once upon a time I had nine acres of south-facing gentlysloping organic grassland with native hedges, wild flowers, three ponds, a stream, two areas of woodland, brick and timber Victorian mill buildings and stables, byre, cart shed fruit trees, veg patch, roses, nuttery ... you name it ... it was there

Did I turn it into a gardening paradise?  Did I 'eckaslike 

I filled it with beef cattle, sheep, ponies, pigs, a dairy herd of goats, chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, you name it, we had it ............... we even had a little grey 'Fergie called Florence ........ once a farmer's daughter, always a farmer's daughter  - if I see that much land I have to put animals on it  

Last edited: 08 March 2017 15:52:58


6acres!! My dream would be to hire a gardener.  I would like a walled garden, would look totally out of place here, and I would like to grow fruit trees, equally out of place here. 

Dove, the little Fergy, what a boon that was certainly made life a lot easier for our farming clan. There is one  near my Sons place with all the tools including trailer and in full working order. Also like you I would make the land work for me as I said earlier on here.



Frank    we also had one of the old-type hay tedders - I loved driving that little tractor, turning and setting the hay in rows while the swallows swooped over the meadow scooping up the insects 

Last edited: 08 March 2017 16:51:29

Dove ours was an old two iron wheel big iron seat on top hay rake, you hitched up old Dobbin and climbed aboard then dropping the rake pulled the hay into long rows. Pulling and pushing the big lever lifted the rake then dropped it again so you went up the field and gradually built up long lines of piled hay. We often went out with big wooden hand held rakes and turned the piles to dry before gathering and stacking. We started with a pile of brush wood then ricked the hay and then thatched a roof on each rick. The under side brush would be what we call today an animal bug Hotel there would be all sorts of things flying out when you got to the bottom.

It all changed the big Fordson Tractor could pull a multi blade plough and three harrows, the Fergy became the runabout to bring the cattle from the field for milking or rounding the sheep up. It would have been OK on our six acres Verdun has kindly given us to play with.