‘Making a garden together, in which to live and work, through thick and thin, fair and foul, is what we like to do best. Everything else is a sideshow. Since spring 2019 Julian and I have been making a garden at Ashington Manor Farm, a garden that we think of as our last principal private escapade, but you never know . . .’
Isabel and Julian Bannerman have made scores of lauded gardens for a host of famous clients, and three special, much-loved gardens of their own surrounding the houses which they have restored and lived in since they married, starting at The Ivy, Chippenham, in 1982; then Hanham Court, Bristol, in 1993; and Trematon Castle, Cornwall, in 2012. Now as they embark on a new adventure, creating a garden at their Elizabethan farmhouse in Somerset, Isabel reflects on the garden they are making and the others they have made as a couple, about the ‘thousand tiny decisions about which we fight like hooting chimpanzees’ and, especially, the fundamentals of what Julian, Mr B, thinks about the key things that go into making a garden for living in – Â a jumble of eating, drinking and sitting places, fruit cages, vegetable and cutting gardens, pelargoniums in giant pots, rose arches, tools and sheds, fences, formality and topiary, pools and meadows, and not least the importance of one’s peripheral vision of how the garden joins on to the landscape.