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The Jewel In The Crown

Changes to the family home led to the transformation of their functional garden into a romantic, flower-filled haven with plenty of hiding places for the grandchildren

Alice Spenser-Higgs

After the upheaval of renovations, followed by a complete revamp of their garden, Fred and Manuela Crabbia love to just sit on the wisteriashaded patio, absorbing the beauty of the surroundings as each season unfolds. And what a view it is, despite the fact that the garden is only two years old.

Wide gracious steps descend to a sunny lawn that flows down to the formal rose garden, which, like the jewel in a crown, perches in the very centre of the garden, commanding all the views from the house. Roses in shades of pink, gold and creamy white overflow the four formal beds, with a central raised pond and steps leading up to a loggia with ‘Isidingo’ ​roses spiralling up the pillars. Blue obelisks in the middle of each rose bed and spires of spring-flowering blue delphiniums add further splashes of colour.

The blue obelisks are a dead giveaway – the signature of landscaper Shirley Wallington, who came to Manuela’s rescue when she realised that her garden was completely out of date and out of step with the clean, formal lines of her home. “We bought the house in 1990 and the garden was tropical, with lots of trees, very green and low maintenance, and a few roses scattered about. With children and dogs, it was the kind of garden that suited us,” recalls Manuela.

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September 2019