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The Late Show

PUBLISHED: 10:52 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 20 February 2013

Photography Keith Mindham

Photography Keith Mindham

With careful, creative planning, late summer can be a colourful time in the garden. Philippa Pearson admires the stunning display at Coggeshall's Ferringbury Manor...

SET against the romantic backdrop of a traditional 14th century lathe and plaster building, the ten acres of garden at Feeringbury Manor near Coggeshall are a feast of flowers throughout the seasons.

In early spring, the blossom of heritage varieties of apples, pears and quince are under planted with white, yellow and orange tulips creating a dramatic colourful display, while in high summer, ornamental borders billow with colourful perennials and roses. Many gardens can look a little sad with the arrival of late summer and autumn, but at Feeringbury borders are still in full flower with masses of colour from perennials, trees and shrubs.

Sonia and Giles Coode-Adams were confronted with a jungle when they moved to the manor more than 30 years ago. 'Weeds were waist high and the garden was in need of some TLC,' says Sonia who is a hands-on gardener with her husband in this now well established garden.

Sonia and Giles have divided the garden into several areas which include a long pink, mauve and white border near the entrance, wildflowers in abundance, an area for moisture-loving plants near a stream and a rapidly expanding three-acre arboretum. Here Giles, who used to work at Kew Gardens, has planted many different species of Euonymous trees which create a stunning firework display of colour from late September and on through the autumn. More than 25 different species of Euonymous, with more being added, are here along with a collection of Rowan trees to boost the autumn colour display. Throughout the garden you'll find imaginative works of art produced by artist Ben Coode-Adams. Gates, arbours and seats made from galvanised and painted steel act as fences and focal points bringing a touch of whimsical charm to the garden. Elsewhere, established yew hedges create natural divisions between the different areas.

Sonia uses lots of containers to extend the flowering season and the manor entrance is a mass of pots filled with interesting plants. In spring they are billowing with tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs and through summer exotic and interesting perennials and annuals take their place.

Sonia grows a lot of plants from seed so throughout the garden you'll find plenty of interesting and unusual plants. I love the collection of asters which weave colour and height throughout all the borders and are magnets for bees and butterflies in late summer. Here and there, groups of zingy dahlias add highlights of glowing colour and combine well with ornamental grasses and other perennials such as the late flowering Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'.

A large pond offers plenty of opportunity for moisture-loving plants around the edges and spring time sees a mass of primulas in bloom around the boggy edges here. The relaxing gardens at Feeringbury Manor offer plenty of ideas to try some late summer colour in your own garden, but do visit at other times in the year to see some spectacular seasonal displays.

RHS Silver-Gilt medal winner Philippa Pearson is a garden designer and professional horticulturalist. Call 01767 651253 or email Philippa at

Visits to Feeringbury Manor are by appointment only.

Feeringbury Manor
Coggeshall Road, Feering CO5 9RB
01376 561946
Situated 12 miles southwest of Colchester between Coggeshall and Feering


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