When I bought Knightstone Manor 20 years ago, it had a wonderful garden, but around the Manor was three fields that were very bare but providing grazing for cattle and horses. We decided to convert it back more to what it could originally had been. Our first project was to create was has now become the Park. It had already quite a few mature trees and an attractive little stream meandering through it. We have planted more than a thousand trees and made interesting pathways, built a tree house, set up benches at interesting viewpoints and created a small orchard and vegetable garden
Our next project was the field to the north of us overlooking the Manor. We decided to convert that into a Wildflower Meadow. A smaller part became a levelled out playing field for kids of all ages, but the majority was planted with wildflowers. And in between Lewis created interesting paths through the landscape. A few trees and copses were planted to create a visual interest and a resting point for the eye.
The first years went well, but then the different grasses that we had came to dominate the meadow and was hiding the flowers. But now, the last years, the wildflowers are back with a vengeance! To walk along the paths admiring all the flowers, butterflies and birds and looking back down to the Manor, lying protected in the valley below, is a true pleasure.
In 2012 we built a new barn, housing a workshop, a large storage and Lewis’s offices and a new IT room for our network systems and computer backup disks. It is unashamedly modern, instead of trying to create a mock medieval architecture and has been highly praised by architects coming to see it. The barn has a curved roof planted with different sedum plants. Viewed from the Manor Garden, the roof goes seamlessly over into the meadow.
Our wildflower concept worked so well that this year we decided to plant wildflowers at the main entrance to the Manor as well. Lots of cars (well – lots for being on Knightstone Road) stop and snap a photo of our flowers. And I did too to document it here.