Who doesn’t love Rob Jackmann? He’s a wonderful actor and I think he looks at his garden as another stage, to be dressed and to serve as a set for his acting.
This garden is something to behold. I love the huge dramatic trees that create a backdrop for his planting. Of course they’ve been there for generations, originally planted in the 19th century by a wealthy industrialist who bought specimens back from his travels to Europe. To my mind, the English Oak is always the most magnificent tree in any garden, but I have to admit he has some fabulous examples from around the world, including an enormous Giant Sequoia from California.
Rob’s garden sits amongst 200 acres of beautiful Cornwall countryside, featuring woodland, streams, a couple of large ponds and a lot of grazing land. A local farmer uses the fields for his sheep and cattle, providing a peaceful and harmonious backdrop for the gardens of his house. I’m deliberately not identifying the location because I’d hate to cause an influx of strangers, gawping at his private property.
I’ve been unable to discover who originally designed the garden, but I’d put him up there with Capability Brown as a designer who knew how to bring nature and nurture together harmoniously to create a beautiful setting for Rob’s lovely house. In fact, the house isn’t that big, rather what would have been a fairly modest country residence for a Victorian gentleman (women didn’t enter into the world of property in those days!). The way the garden builder landscaped 30 acres of the holding is beautiful and his vision is still being enjoyed by the present owner.
Many mature trees form the backdrop for the garden, but it’s the underplanting that’s inspired. All manner of huge shrubs from around the world compete for attention and are there to surprise as you meander through the scene. Carefully constructed footpaths take you around the estate, making the whole appear much larger than it is and showing off the splendour of the garden at every season of the year. In winter there are bushes laden with berries of every hue, spring brings daffodils and snowdrops, bluebells and primroses – very traditional but no less beautiful for it.
Early summer brings out the rhododendrons, which in this setting have been strictly controlled so they don’t take over the entire garden. I believe the planters who first brought these lovely plants back from China had no idea they could become so invasive. But when kept on a leash they can be a real asset to the garden. Summer is a wonderful time in Rob’s garden, from the Iris garden to the formal box garden with its herbs and vegetable plot.
I’ve not been allowed to post photos of this garden, which is a shame but totally understandable as Rob values his privacy. I hope to visit again because he’s a wonderful host and the scones he served were delicious.
Thank you Rob for your tour of your beautiful estate.