Chalkland Farm Gardens
In this garden, just 40 minutes from London, Jinny Blom converted a neglected hilltop farm into a garden of exquisitely designed rooms with an astonishing grand finale, overlooking a wide valley in the high chalklands.
In this garden, which is just 40 minutes from London, Blom converted a neglected hilltop farm into a garden of exquisitely designed rooms, overlooking a wide valley in the high chalklands. Blom is known for her hands-off approach, grounded in her belief that sometimes the best a landscape designer can do is to create a venue where the land's natural beauty can be seen.
Lavender and garden roses decorate the wall of a garden room.
The bastion keeps the line between nature and garden clear and simple.
This is the astonishing grand finale to the estate, overlooking a wide valley in the high chalklands. No flowers or other plantings compete with the view, and though the lawn can accomodate parties, Blom's purpose was to give the farm's owner a place to interact with the environment. The bastion is so high up that the owner often uses it as a platform from which to feed and watch red kites—native birds of prey that she reintroduced to the area.
The bastion is reached from a secret door from the walled garden. This quietly dressy room is Blom's way of setting up the chalkland farm's sucker punch—the view over the valley that is visible through the door.
"For visitors, this is the last thing you come to," says Blom. With the door closed, this corner feels neutral and intimate, with its sober 'Dusky Challenger' iris—a "proper navy blue," says Blom—allium and Blom's favorite rose, the apricot-colored 'Mrs. Oakley Fisher.' Blom built up the garden wall and established vines that in time will cloak the door in greenery, further disguising the impact of what lies behind it.