Not many have the chance to make a garden out of an old flower farm. Cloudehill’s original planting goes back to Jim Woolrich when he began planting shrubs and trees and bulbs for the cut flower market and florist trade in the ’20s. The flower farm thrived through to the ’60s then, after 20 years gently resting, Jeremy Francis bought what was now something of a sleeping beauty’s garden and began making Cloudehill in 1992.
Cloudehill’s design derives from Italian renaissance gardens, English arts and crafts gardens, and from contemporary meadow gardening. Compartments threaded along axes incorporate themes such as ‘expectation and surprise’. Deep volcanic soil and moist mild weather allow plants to achieve majestic proportions; for example, the two magnificent weeping maples at the heart of the garden. These glorious trees are historic, they came from Japan in 1928. Please re-visit through the seasons, with so many ‘garden rooms’ you will find a few at their peak no-matter the time of year.
Two gardens within Cloudehill make perfect settings for garden weddings. Our ‘Green Theatre’ is a magnificent formal lawn with glorious beech hedges surrounded by mature and historic trees, and the marquee by the Quadrangle Lawn provides shade and shelter and its own elegant ambience. The Gardens are also available weekdays and weekends for photography bookings.
Overlooking the gardens, Seasons Restaurant is an inviting dining experience throughout the year using the best and freshest local produce. Seasons is a fully licensed venue and has a changing wine list throughout the year of local wines provided by Olinda Cellars.
A visit to Cloudehill isn’t complete without exploring The Diggers Garden Shop. The Gardens provide inspiration throughout the seasons; from spring bulb meadows, summer perennial borders and dramatic autumn foliage. The Diggers Garden Shop has a wide range of plants on offer and specialises in Diggers signature heirloom seeds, cottage flowers and edible plants that are complemented by a range of flowering shrubs and cool climate trees.
Jeremy Francis, owner of Cloudehill Gardens is also author of the book 'Cloudehill: A Year in the Garden'. Some 90,000 words over 264 pages with hundreds of pictures and some two dozen ‘hero’ shots by photographer, Claire Takacs. Claire has been hugely successful in the International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition and her work is very familiar in garden journals around the world. Signed copies of the book can be ordered for just $50 + $15 P&P by calling Jeremy on 03 9751 1009.