It was the two old ladies, who visited Gina Price annually to offer plenty of criticism, who helped Pettifers grow into the extravagantly beautiful, dreamy garden that it is today.
‘My knowledge in those days was virtually non-existent,’ says Gina. ‘I had no real idea back then how lucky I was to have their friendship.’
Diany Binney, the then-owner of the iconic garden Kiftsgate and her sister Betsy Muir were in their 90s when they taught Gina to plant a garden at Pettifers that weaves Indian influences in with swathes of colour and grasses.
It wasn’t always like this. When Gina arrived in the mid-1980s to an empty garden, she started filling the garden with shrubs and roses. But thanks to the advice of her two elderly friends, she soon fell in love with grasses, and over the years has banished many of the shrubs she first planted.
Pettifers has a strong structure that makes it stunning in the winter. When the garden wakes up in late winter, it brings aconites and snowdrops, then hellebores. Shortly after, the meadow of snake’s-head fritillaries stretches out, followed by tulips.
In summer, the borders catch the garden’s ever-changing light with huge clumps of colour. And as the season’s splendour begins to fade, the autumn grasses start their reign. Gina has planted out the borders with an autumn display specifically in mind, with Sedum, Kniphofia, and large clumps of ehr beloved grasses.
Pettifers is open for visits by appointment. Visit the website for more information.
All images copyright Clive Nichols. You may not reproduce these images without prior permission.