I don’t want to be rude but this garden used to look like a supermarket car park: it was overplanted with a lot of easy care evergreen shrubs. This sort of thing is fine outside industrial estates but not really right for fine old stone houses in pretty Northamptonshire villages. They need deep borders that sing from tulip time to leaf fall.

So that is what we have tried to do – the central pond at the front serves as the centre of a turning circle by the house but also allows a rather magnificent view of the church. It is always good to try and bring outside elements into any garden. It is the principle of borrowed landscape, or ‘shakkei’, as laid down by the Japanese many centuries ago.

Apart from that there is a border I love which hinges on the very fine chinese rose, R. mutabilis that changes colour as it ages. A spring garden with long grass, narcissus and some glowing silver birch. A vegetable garden (currently being rejigged by my friend the vegetablist, Mark Diacono) and enough lawns and hedges for football and shelter.