House & GardenAlthough no record of its layout exists, it is probable that this garden was of simple country cottage style with little formal design. The original garden was bigger with an orchard, and also a large vegetable patch which Jane’s mother tended.
The present garden shows an extensive range of plants known in Jane Austen’s time and includes wildflowers common to this area of Hampshire.
Visitors are welcome to picnic on the lawns and benches, take photographs and enjoy the garden wildlife amongst the flowers, herbs, trees and shrubs in a beautiful setting beside the old village green.
Celia Simpson, Head Gardener, has cared for this garden for over 16 years and welcomes help from volunteers to keep it looking beautiful all year round.
A brief guide to the garden
Anti-clockwise from the entrance courtyard:
The Herb Border runs from the Bakehouse to the Learning Centre, with an additional bed under the house window across the path. These herbs were used for medicinal and culinary purposes and also as insect repellents, nosegays, flower waters, strewing plants and tussie-mussies (small fragrant posies).
The Perennial Bed fills the corner from the Learning Centre to the hedge. Here, the soil is very rich and ideal for climbers, summer bulbs and other colourful plants.
Through the garden gate, (out-of-bounds – sorry!) are nursery beds, compost heaps, cold frames, sheds and a greenhouse. This is where young plants are raised and much of the preparation is carried out.
The Rose Beds hold 30 very old varieties of richly perfumed Gallica, Alba, Centifolia and Moss roses. Amongst them grow more perennials.
The Shrubbery is bordered by a magnificent beech hedge which was planted in the 1950s. In addition to the extensive variety of shrubs, many wildflowers grow here and the garden birds can often be seen taking advantage of the food, water & shelter.
The Boundary Border grows trees and shrubs alongside the garden wall. The oak tree, surrounded by seating, is a descendant of a tree believed to have been planted by Jane Austen.
The Bricked Border holds dye plants which were used to obtain dyes from roots, leaves or flowers.
The plants on and under the Front Wall of the house are a mix of climbing shrubs, seasonal bulbs and summer annuals framing the house doors.