Imagine a patchwork quilt showing leafy luxuriant garden scenes, each with an individual character and charm. Some scenes are dense with shrubs and flowers; others are open with lawns and paths.
Every patch is neatly stitched together, edge to edge.
Squares and rectangles, each depicting a distinct design and story. Together they form a unified picture of verdant plant life, within which one could relax and seek a slice of serenity.
Step into the patchwork and, square by square, wander around.
But, there is no need to stay in one’s imaginings.
Hill Close Gardens, on the edge of Warwick town centre, is the restoration of 16 Victorian allotments. It is the same site and follows much the same plan as it did in the 19th century.
Each allotment has its own design, influenced by the plants, techniques and style of times past. Each has its own backstory of various owners and tenants, many from the town’s business community, who carefully cultivated their so called “detached” green spaces from the mid-1840s to the latter 20th century.
Favourite amongst them for me was ‘Plot 23’ – first owned by Warwick Bootmaker, William Behoo. Its meandering grass, workaday beauty, ordered but unpretentious flower beds, lead to a quiet garden bench with a shaded view of the whole space.
These days, volunteers maintain the trees, shrubs and flowers so visitors can wander, just sit, or glean some inspiration for their own personal outdoors.
The entire Gardens are industrious yet calm, natural yet controlled, functional yet pretty.
Hill Close Gardens opens every day in summer, and weekdays in winter, with £3.50 admission to the allotments.
See: Hill Close Gardens
© Laura Claire H 2014