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The garden of Feeringbury Manor is on an ancient site. The land originally belonged to William the Conqueror and the house dates back to before 1500.
We moved here in 1978 and immediately set to work, clearing old chicken houses and wire enclosures, ploughing through brambles and nettles until the garden became what you can see today.
As you enter the garden on the right is the old rose bed, still with a few old fashioned roses, but now with additional herbaceous planting as well as various annuals, including verbenas, tobaccos, sweet williams, among others. The main lawn is taken up with a formal circular bed filled with wild flowers in glorious mixture at their best from June until frosts.
Round the side of the house is the main planted area, always with something interesting in flower from hellebores to Michaelmas daisies. There is a clear plan delineated by yew hedges. We have always been obsessed with plants and with a varied terrain are able to grow a wide range though alpines tend to get lost amongst the abundant planting. There are damp areas where primulas flourish and the occasional meconopsis, with dry sheltered places where cistus and azara do well. The main concentration is on a planting with shrubs, herbaceous pants, annuals and bulbs all mixed in together, with climbers to take over when any area of planting has finished its season. There are many clematis, honeysuckles and peas as well as other climbers, both straggling over walls or through plants. There is always something unusual to see in this magical place.
Feeringbury can truly be called a romantic garden with enclosed areas, strange gates, including St Peter's Gate made by Ben Cooke-Adams as well as a handsome gazebo, which when you look up is full of movement of organic shapes, leaves and flowers in galvanised steel. For 2000 he made an elegant cantilevered bench on a slope, looking like ripples of water round a rock over stones. There is always something of interest at any time, though like most gardens the peak is during the summer months.
From A12, take Kelvedon turn. Follow road through Kelvedon and Feering. Take turn signed to Feering Village (Coggeshall Road). Follow for about 1.5 miles, just past small junction on right. Feeringbury Manor is on left.
Parking : free
Nearest station : 2 miles (3.2 kms) from Kelvedon station