Surrey Life|August 2020
Summer is vibrant with bloom at Oaklands garden in Blindley Heath, a newcomer to the National Garden Scheme and definitely one to discover
Leigh Clapp

Draped in climbers and adorned with vibrant hanging baskets, the 32-metre long curved pergola at Oaklands is a stunning highlight of this attractive garden developed by owners Joy and Justin Greasley. Spread out from the house the garden also has lovely specimen trees, expansive lawns, herbaceous planting, a summerhouse and gazebo, a dappled shady pond, a Gothic folly patio, as well as a productive garden with raised beds. This is a new-build garden created from scratch by novice – but now keen – gardeners, since buying the house in 1997. “We were the first owners, the house having been built on the site of a demolished hotel, and were attracted by the setting, surrounded by a Site of Special Scientific Interest, very few neighbours yet close enough to local amenities,” says Joy. “The roughly half an acre garden was secondary to the house, and our previous garden had been a very small and easy to maintain garden.”

The garden was a completely blank canvas with no trees, shrubs or plants. Having heavy clay soil, being in a frost pocket, low lying – so susceptible to flooding – and surrounded by woodland, along with local rabbits and deer, meant there would be some challenges ahead. “The lawn had been seeded prior to the builders moving off the site but we had managed to persuade them to excavate a pond area, which we then clay puddled which wasn’t terribly successful so we resorted to a butyl liner,” says Joy. Initially busy with their everyday lives, working and two teenage boys the garden has slowly evolved, beginning with installing a covered heated pool, which became a bit of a catalyst. “We had a curved path laid so that we could access the pool all year and small garden areas were developed from there,” says Justin. “We really weren’t that interested in gardening prior to moving to the house. However we loved the ‘borrowed landscape’ of the heath and planted trees at the back of the garden and it is this that has helped us to develop the vistas around and across the garden.”


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August 2020