Culti-Vate Explores #003 Noel Kingsbury Montpelier Cottage

by Culti-Vate

IMG_9442 copy

Even though it was a bleak grey drizzling day Montpelier Cottage was well worth donning a raincoat and wellingtons for! Especially as Noel Kingsbury was there to explain and guide people round his very wild and naturalistic plot on the welsh borders. The garden is full of lush grasses and perennials, creating a seamless link to the beautiful surrounding landscape. Noel Kingsbury is best know as a garden writer, having written over twenty books on creating and growing a garden as well as writing for publications like The Garden and Gardens illustrated. Noel Kingsbury is best know for his brilliant garden writing, his research work and his passion for naturalistic and ecological planting. He is a great promoter of natural garden design and creating sustainable planting, which is reflected throughout his garden. From the array of plants in his main borders that complement and work together, to the meticulously planned research beds where he studies the long term performance of plants. Noel has also written for publication such as Gardens Illustrated, The Garden and The New York Times, been involved in public planting schemes around the country and has also found time to create the first horticultural soap opera for gardeners… ‘Dig, Plant and Bitch‘.

01IMG_9332 copy02IMG_9412 copy03As the garden slops downwards it begins to merge with three flourishing acres of meadows, teeming with wild flowers and grasses. A haven for wildlife, including bees. There were some lovely little bee hives dotted through the meadow.
IMG_9360 copyIMG_9397 copy05An amazing patch of persicaria polymorpha!IMG_9412 copy04The beds leading down from Noel’s writing lodge in the garden are his trial and research beds, all are measured and monitored to study plant competition and management. A very interesting patch of the garden to observe. IMG_9436 copy IMG_9440 copy

While wandering round the garden Noel kindly signed a copy of his book ‘Planting: A New Perspective’, written with the well known garden designer Piet Oudolf. He also took the time to chat, explaining the areas of the garden to us on our arrival. We were very grateful to him for taking the time to do this. So thank you Noel (if you read this!) much appreciated!

If the garden is ever open for the NGS again or as part of ‘Gardens in the wild’ it is well worth a trip!