In an earlier post, I commented on the beauty and ubiquity of everyday gardens in England--what are known as "cottage gardens." The art of gardening is so widespread and well understood that gardens that look spectacular to North American eyes are seen as nothing special in the U.K.--just what anybody would do. So it was that when I praised the beautiful cultivated quarter-acre outside the front door of Gate Farm, the bed and breakfast where we stayed in rural Yorkshire in August, the owner, Karen, said, "Garden? Oh no. Things are just shoved in anywhere."
Karen and her husband are the sixth generation of tenants to farm here, dating back to the first decade of the nineteenth century. When Karen married and moved into the house, her mother-in-law had been living alone there for some time, and had not been able to keep up with the garden. (The vine arch in over the path, above, was the work of Karen's father-in-law.) While running the farm and the B&B, raising children, and now looking after grandchildren, Karen has been planting whenever she gets the chance, focusing mainly on big splashes of color.
In addition to beautiful planted elements, among the garden's charms are the antique farm implements and machine parts strewn around the space, adding interesting textures, shapes and shadows.
bounded by an ancient stone wall,