Isabel and Julian Bannerman's Romantic English Gardens, Slide Show
Photographs of some of English designers Isabel and Julian Bannerman's gardens, including their own home Hanham Court, Asthall Manor (childhood home of the Mitford sisters), and Wychwood Manor.
Read more about Julian and Isabel Bannerman's gardens in our article about their career so far.
Julian and Isabel Bannerman met in their 20s in the rollicking art scene of Edinburgh, Scotland. They have been together, personally and professionally, since.
Their unreconstructed Bohemian look belies their passion for the well-manicured gardens of England’s historic estates and their clientele among England’s social elites, from entertainers to the Prince of Wales.
A view in early summer past the formal water feature to the pear orchard at Wychwood Manor, a garden the Bannermans designed in Oxfordshire, England.
The pea gravel path, foreground, is softened by herbaceous plantings.
A salvaged Gothic window, part of a wall surrounding the sunken pool area built in 1998 at Hanham Court, the Bannermans’ longtime home.
Terra cotta pots of tulips brighten the early spring garden while layers of cascading foliage give the illusion of a secret space. Follies like this pop up in many of the Bannermans’ garden designs, usually to theatrical effect.
The obelisk garden at Hanham Court is punctuated with boxwood topiary and exceptionally tall pots filled with long-lasting, rich, maroon-red ‘Jan Reus’ tulips, one of the Bannermans’ favorites.
A huge water trough fixed with three cow head fountains sits below a high stone wall covered in unruly vines, a signature look.
A stone staircase at Asthall Manor, in the Cotswolds, England, with yew topiary cut into waves on either side. The childhood home of writer Nancy Mitford (and the rest of the Mitford sisters), Asthall draws thousands of visitors a year who come to see the sculptures that dot the landscape but also to take in the Bannermans’ generously planted gardens.
A profusion of climbing roses at Asthall Manor, a Bannerman-designed garden in the Cotswolds, is underplanted with iris.
The golden gate at Hanham Court, flanked by Paeonia rockii, divides the formal garden from the open fields. In early spring, a sea of snowdrops, fritillaria, and narcissus erupts into view on the far side of the gate.
The enclosed terrace garden outside the sitting room at Wychwood Manor is surrounded by a yew hedge with a doorway the Bannermans designed. The door is made from green oak, a wood that can be carved and treated to resemble more costly stone.
The periwinkle bench in a walled garden at Hanham Court Gardens is surrounded by shocking chartreuse blooms of Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii.’ This use of esoteric euphorbia is an example of how the Bannermans play strong colors against each other and let whimsy have its day.