I went to this garden at the end of August because I had been told it was a garden of grasses.
But it is much more than that – it is the most exuberant and joyful garden, full of flowers.
This is a garden made and maintained by people who are both skilled plantsmen and love gardening
The approach doesn’t promise much, but once inside the drama of the garden takes hold. The first thing you see is a vast parterre made up of huge squares of tall grasses set with trees, laid out in grid formation that repeats into the distance. As a foil to that is the pretty jumble of plants arranged at the entrance to the little shed where you buy your ticket and venture forth into the garden. There is restraint and abundance in equal measure, the form is clear and strong with hedges and box topiary, but in August, when I went, the plants had overspilled their boundaries and you found yourself pushing through a jungle of flowers, bees and butterflies. Close to the house is a shady vine-covered arbour with table and chairs, surrounded by a wide swathe of box hedging cut to the height of the table and stretching out like a lawn. Beyond that is the autumn garden full of a feathery blend of grasses, asters, dahlias and verbena – a soft contrast to the bold box feature. I loved La Plume for its wild melange of annuals and perennials and its underlying strong architectural form, and would certainly return to see it at another season.