From the East garden, find the doorway through the walls to cross the moat via the bridge to discover the wells from which the City gets its name. Once described as “a medow (sic) plot” by the traveller John Leland writing in the mid-16th century this area has been transformed into a peaceful space with lawns, flower borders and shady pools containing the water gushing up from the springs.
Walk over the boardwalk and peer down into St Andrew’s Well where you may see the bubbles from the spring emerging at the base of the pool. Here in this secluded and romantic location are shade and damp-loving plants such as astilbe’s and hostas.
Next to the Water Wheel are borders where the choice of plants has been influenced by the damp garden in the well-known Beth Chatto gardens in Essex. Plants such as Iris, Rheum, Candelabra Primulas and Rodgersias are abundant here and the luxurious and diverse foliage creates drama and structure.
The long border winding alongside the biggest pool was originally designed by Mary Keen. Replanted in Spring 2016, much of Mary’s trademark style of mixing small and larger plants together has been intentionally kept whilst at the same time refreshing the border to provide a longer seasonal interest; it is full of herbaceous plants, shrubs and roses.