Greencombe is a small garden and an inspiration to many visitors. It is its own world – once inside, you are somewhere else. This could so easily be lost, but I take care not to.
When we came to Greencombe, the electricity came in from the east, in front of the house, in front of the views. I put it underground. Visitors are not aware of this, but it makes a big difference.
We made leaf mould tips in the gut (the bottom path) and had gates made between the drive and the gut. That got rid of wire cages for leaves in the wood itself and simplified leaf collecting, because it was just tipped in from above. Best of all, it meant that in a wet winter we could wheel dressing from the gut via the drive to beds, without damaging fragile paths and lawns. We also made a path through from ‘Sunny House’ to the drive so that compost could be wheeled out.
In the 13th century this place was The Deer park, and the field below the wood was and still is called Wheat Park. It was vital that the deer is kept out of the wheat. The method used in Somerset was to dig a ditch along the bottom of the wood and keep this ditch in place with a supporting stone wall built without cement. Of course, our stone wall has had to be rebuilt, but the foundation stones have never been moved from where they were laid in the 13th century at the time when more agricultural land was urgently needed, about 50 years before the Black Death reduced the population and changed farming practice.
Your visit to Greencombe hopefully gives you a deep sense of satisfaction as you will see so many beautiful things.