BEFORE PHOTOS, AUTUMN 2017
About the garden at Maplestone Farm, East Sussex
Situated in Broad Oak, Brede near Rye and Northiam, Maplestone Farm is in Sussex's High Weald AONB.
The oldest part of the farmhouse was built in the years following the Great Fire of London of 1666, but it has been regularly added to over its 350 years.
The soil is Wealden clay, similar to Great Dixter just 3 miles up the road. According to Cranfield University's Soilscapes website it's 'slightly acid loamy and clayey with impeded drainage' but pretty fertile.
A Garden in the Making...
With views west up the Tillingham Valley - the 1/3 acre garden surrounds the house on all sides - and is a vacant expanse of lawn but there are some choice shrubs and beautiful mature trees here - and on our adjoining farmland.
Challenges include moles, a massive Leylandii hedge and honey fungus - news sadly confirmed in the autumn by tell-tale toadstools at the base of a noticably stressed maple.
I had to disappoint my partner that we won't need a ride-on mower as the acres of lawn will soon diminish.
Plans for a plantsman's paradise are afoot for the garden of course, so watch this space!
"Apparently it's safe to grow a pampas grass here in Broad Oak without fear of an invitation to swap car keys at the Christmas party!"