Category Archives: Tymperleys

A Tymperleys Update

The garden at Tymps has been growing like crazy. I’ve got a nifty little battery powered mower for it now (Bosch – can’t remember the exact model) which is pretty good. It feels a little flimsy but it’s light enough to pick up and carry with ease and cuts nicely – I’ll definitely be considering one for my own small garden next time I need to get a mower.

Herb garden at Tymperleys

The back garden at Tymps

The cotton lavender needs to be cut back hard after it’s flowered as it’s a little floppy, but otherwise I’m really happy with how it’s going. The weeds are getting into the fight back now but the soil is light enough to make hoeing easy.

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

This pic of the Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) illustrates the colour scheme nicely. The blues and yellows make the garden seem cheerful and sunny even on an overcast day.

Geranium 'Silver Queen'

Geranium ‘Silver Queen’

I’ve planted this geranium in the shadier end of the garden and its pale blue flowers are luminous.

Tymperleys front garden

Tymperleys front garden

I haven’t done much in the front garden as the border to the left of this picture will probably disappear under flagstones. Having the tables on the grass isn’t ideal as the grass won’t appreciate quite so much traffic. The bland shrub border to the right can be given a bit of  a revamp once the paving layouts are finished.

You can see that the big lavender bushes along the front of the building seem to have survived having builders around. Phew!

If you’re in Colchester you can go and have a look – the tea room is open now (it’s also available as an events venue) and I have to say the food was lovely when my Mum and I popped in for lunch one day. I’m not just saying that, honest!


Roots down, leaves up.

Last Friday MsV and I planted up the garden at Tymperleys. At this stage all the plants are small and green and blobby so a picture doesn’t look very impressive:


The central beds are edged with Lavender ‘Hidcote’ and Santolina incana and contain various herbs. Some of these aren’t available from the nursery yet so there will have to be another smaller planting session in the middle of April.

In the corner beds I’ve taken my cue from the existing cardoons and echinops, so we have more of those to give height, plus yellow roses (‘Charlotte’) and hypericum and a variety of pretty perennials including Leucanthemum ‘T.E.Killen’ to provide some cheery daisies. On the wall to the right I’ve planted more yellow roses (‘Maigold’ and ‘Golden Showers’) and a blue Clematis (Perle d’Azur’) with blue Irises along the front of the bed.

Planting them up was done in a jiffy – then we had to contend with the fact that there isn’t an outside tap yet! In the end a long hose and a certain amount of bodging sufficed but it still didn’t quite reach so I hauled watering cans for the furthest plants.

A New Project

It looks like my blog mojo might be flowing again. And what has helped the sap to rise? Spring of course. That and a new project. My employers have bought the lease to Tymperleys, a historic building in Colchester that, until recently, has been a clock museum. They’re opening it as a tea room and functions venue. But who cares about that? The exciting bit is that I’ve got a new garden to play with!

The garden is a town garden and can be split into two areas. The front has a lawn surrounded by borders consisting mostly of shrubs. There are several large and lovely lavender plants along the front of the building (which isn’t pictured because… well I was more interested in the garden and forgot, nevermind – it’s largely covered by scaffolding at the moment anyway).

Tymperley's front garden

Front lawn and stylish blue door

We’ll be making this a bit more interesting in the future but it will stay largely as it is for the time being until the paving for outside dining has been finished and we know exactly what we’re dealing with.

The rear part of the garden has geometric beds, brick paths and several mature trees.


The geometric beds and trees

Those large evergreens at the back are bay trees. I was amazed at the size of them and have to admit that until I took a proper look I was just assuming they were Holm Oaks (oh the shame). The gnarly old crone on the left is a Mulberry tree with a TPO that I fear is not long for this world as there’s a lot of rotting wood right at the base.

Initial plans are for fresh planting in the geometric and corner beds and the trellises on the walls. Later on I will make better use of the shady area under the trees too. I have a colour scheme in mind for this area – I’m aiming for cheerful yellows, whites and blues (which will veer towards purple just because true blue would be a very tough restriction) to give this garden a fresh and sunny feel.

The building is medieval and so I want to give a nod to that in my planting by using a number of ancient herbs but by restricting my colour choices I hope to also give it a modern touch and prevent it from slipping into being twee.

I do love this bit – the anticipating and planning and imagining! I’ll be sure to post an update once there are green things going into the soil (which is beautiful by the way – loose and crumbly and dark, yum.)