White greenhouses and white benches, 14th November, 2016

I feel I must share with you my feelings about white greenhouses and white benches in gardens.     Most gardens enjoy a much larger greenhouse that the one I am going to get,  and I have to say that I don’t like white ones as your eyes goes straight to them, and they don’t seem to blend in with the garden.     There are exceptions, at my home, Mostyn Hall, is a most beautiful greenhouse on its last legs, paint peeling off, in a 2 acre walled garden.   It is badly in need of repair, goodness knows if it will ever get it, as it is very expensive.    Funnily enough large white greenhouses sit well in walled gardens.     For example at Thenford (Michael Heseltine) Gresgarth (Arabella Lennox Boyd) and Victoria Wakefield at Bramdean House in Hampshire.       All of these as far as I know are modern.      My little one 8ft by 9 and a half feet, has a ten layer brick base, and it is going to be (the delightful name of pigeon blue).        Polly is already saying she missed her greenhouse as all we have is the brick base.      I. really am allergic to white benches or chairs of any kind.      Again the eye is drawn to them immediately, and as a result we have tw0 Edwardian ones from Aunt Venice painted pale mauve, a pale blue one by Nicky Hodges, and a plain oak one by him, a bit smaller.       As usual this is all a matter of taste, but I remember going to Princess Sturdza’s garden, Le Vastiveral, in Normandy, and there was not a bench, a painted door, or a statue to be seen.         This comprised of 30 acres, and she had created it in 50 years.   I have a vivid memory that she wore little white gloves.

2 thoughts on “White greenhouses and white benches, 14th November, 2016

  1. What an interesting post.! Do so agree about bright white unless peeling and in a two acre walled garden. Have a friend with similar and cc her here for her interest! Hers though is not de lapidaries as she constantly ensures it does not become so!

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  2. I think Gina is so right about white in a confined space – but a very long focal point can be enhanced by a white bench in good condition especially if the long margins leading up to it are evergreen. In a confined space, benches should in my view be unpainted, teak oiled wood unless they are ravishingly maintained in which case one of those wonderful colours like Palma Grey or indeed Pigeon or Hawkesmoor are inviting and enlightening when well placed in an intimate space. I think an old-fashioned bog standard greenhouse is probably better mat white, kept in good condition, where it is not intended to be a feature but the working house of the garden but in a small area where there there is an architectural joie de vivre in a greenhouse I am in total agreement – the dead white spirals of an Alitex in a small area seems like an uninvited guest who has taken over all the conversation – whilst a beautiful white greenhouse spied from afar across a wide space looks like an inviting jewell asking to be inspected more closely. So it is the decision is determined, as ever, by intention and proportion. Griselda Kerr

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