In Victorian times, the gardens which descend from the front of Glenholme Country House included a tennis court and huge swathes of rhododendrons. When we bought the house in 2007, it had been owned for over twenty years by a gentleman who had spent much of his life in Malaya managing rubber plantations. He was a passionate gardener and was responsible for creating much of the structure of the garden as it is today. He also planted some wonderful and unusual things in the shrubbery – including a rare Chilean flame tree which burns with red flowers in May. But it was very much a man’s garden and we have sought to soften its lines over the past few years, planting lots of traditional cottage garden plants as well as species viola and tall alliums, and allowing the tightly clipped shrubs to become a little more unruly. One thing we would never change is the line of forty azaleas which stand in front of the house and glow in a dozen fantastic colours in the mid May.