Home » Events » Garden Visit | A rare visit to Dan Pearson’s garden alongside magical gardens in Wiltshire

Garden Visit | A rare visit to Dan Pearson’s garden alongside magical gardens in Wiltshire

Ridley's Cheer, Hillside, and Special Plants

Ridley’s Cheer, Mountain Bower 

At Antony and Sue Young’s superb fourteen-acre garden and arboretum Ridley’s Cheer, there is always something in flower. Close to their house, touches of formality include a potager of clipped box shapes and dwarf hedges of beech and fern-leaved beech enclosing tree peonies and weeping standards of Rosa ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’. With Antony as our guide, we will discover the planting around their lawn which concentrates on soft shades of colour and scented flowers including cistus, daphne, herbaceous peonies, delphiniums, erythronium, eucryphia, dianthus, and hoheria. Their remarkable arboretum, after fifty years now approaching maturity, contains different forms of beech, oak, magnolia, holly in many different forms and species, and acers from China, Japan, North America and Siberia. There are a dozen different Daphne bholuas as well as several tree peonies, a glorious three-acre wildflower meadow leads to an informal pond with bog and waterside plantings.

We will be offered coffee and biscuits on our arrival here and lunch at the end of our morning.

Hillside, Cold Ashton 

After lunch we will travel to Hillside, where Dan Pearson and Huw Morgan will show us around their very personal and private garden.

In 2010 Dan Pearson, the renowned landscape designer and writer, together with his partner Huw Morgan, moved from their London town garden to a beautiful but windswept hillside in Somerset, taking with them three carloads of plants, hope, and ambition. Fourteen years on we are privileged to be their guests and to see the magnificent results of their creativity.

On this exclusive visit, Dan will personally guide us through this deeply considered garden, describing its creation and explaining the planting he has selected to fit with the surrounding landscape and the demanding site conditions. At the end of our tour, we will have a chance to admire commanding views of the garden and the valley beyond, whilst enjoying Huw’s home-baking and afternoon tea in the loggia. 

Special Plants, Cold Ashton 

After our morning focusing on unusual trees and shrubs at Anthony Young’s arboretum, our visit to Derry Watkins’ garden and nursery, Special Plants, will be a contrasting delight. Derry is a supreme nurserywoman, lecturer, gardener and communicator. She grows and sells unusual plants from all over the world including a wide range of hardy herbaceous and rockery plants and many tender perennials for terraces and conservatories. Derry has introduced many new plants from her plant-collecting trips to South Africa and elsewhere.  


Image: Hillside, photo courtesy Huw Morgan