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Roundhill Open Gardens, Brighton. July 31st 2011

Roundhill, one of Brighton’s least known conservation areas, opened its garden's for charity in the National Garden Scheme for one all too short afternoon. It was a gorgeous afternoon to visit other gardens, and although I originally intended to visit all three I missed out Richmond Road as I ran out of time. The two I did see, George and Clare's in Princes Crescent, and Steve and John's in Belton Close, were very different, despite being only a couple of minutes walk away from each other, and both a real pleasure to visit. The Princes Crescent garden is a steep climb from the pavement, then a short breather walking through the house, before the ascent of the cunningly terraced and decked back garden to a beautiful patio surrounded by scented climbers. Although the colour theme, of mainly purples and blues against a background of greens, is carefully restrained the shaping of this small garden makes for an adventurous journey through its changing vistas. Belton Close was almost the complete opposite: if you looked carefully a completely flat plot which, with skilful planting, has plenty for the eye to move up, down, around, over and under. And what colour! Wild and hot and sundrenched, with the occasional oasis of cooler shades and corners. The perfect spot for a nice cup of tea and a slice of home baked cake fresh from the oven, which I just managed to get the last slice of. A perfect afternoons gardening!

For more information on Roundhill Gardens go to

All photos ©Julia Claxton
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