Vanessa Berridge and Anne Chamber’s illustrated discussion celebrates the centenary of Kiftsgate Court Garden. With its famous Kiftsgate rose, Italianate terracing, perennials, roses and rare and exotic shrubs thriving side-by-side, Kiftsgate is a fine balance between continuity and gentle evolution: Heather Muir gave Kiftsgate its structure, laying out the semi-formal gardens by the house; Diany Binny extended and developed her mother’s planting and refashioned the White Sunk Garden. Vanessa has had exclusive access to the Kiftsgate archive, containing family photographs and letters from gardening friends including Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Manor; Vita Sackville-West, the creator of Sissinghurst Castle Garden; and the horticulturalist Graham Stuart Thomas.
Anne Chambers has continued in the tradition of her mother and grandmother in seeking out new and interesting plants to complement the schemes, which were established when Kiftsgate was originally laid out. Anne and her husband Johnny moved to Kiftsgate in 1988 and have further modernised the garden, extending opening hours, and creating new areas of interest such as the Water Garden, the Mound and the Tulip Tree Avenue.
Vanessa Berridge is a former editor for Country Homes & Interiors magazine and of The English Garden magazine, which she launched in 1997. She has written for Country Life, Daily Telegraph, Homes & Gardens, and the Times. Her books include The Joy of Gardening, The Princess’s Garden: Royal Intrigue and the Untold Story of Kew and Great British Gardeners. Vanessa is also the National Garden Scheme county organiser for Gloucestershire.