Home and Garden

Within two years the Popes’ garden became a masterpiece of colour


Article content continued

“We wanted to spend a year on it,” recalled Sandra, “but somehow it turned out to be 20.”

This 7 acre piece of Hadspen was partially open to the public, and it was also a kindergarten where plants and vegetables could be bought. With limited resources, it was quite a challenge. Penelope Hobhouse put her in contact with an important supplier of plants to be sold in kindergarten. This made all the difference in terms of both sales growth and awareness of unique plants.

The vegetable garden in Hadspen is surrounded by a wall.  Photo credit: Ron Rule ConsultantsThe vegetable garden in Hadspen is surrounded by a wall. Photo by Ron Rule Consultants /.jpg

The real story, however, was their brilliant restoration, especially of the walled garden. Pope said it was amazing how quickly you as two Canadians were taken to the Somerset area to restore a prestigious historic English garden. Despite the challenges, she told me how wonderful it was to wake up every day to the prospect of doing something exciting.

“It was a gift,” she said.

According to Rule, within two years the garden became a masterpiece of color and harmony. With the stunning backdrop of the curved wall and the excellent use of color and flow, you have been rewarded everywhere you looked. They were passionate about designers, and if they couldn’t find the plant they needed to complete a color scheme, they would breed one that could. Rule believes they were two of the most hardworking people anyone can imagine.

Soon her breathtaking garden became known, and the who’s who of the gardening world discovered this gem, redesigned and reborn by two talented Canadians. Every year the garden improved like a great wine with age and became one of England’s must-see gardens.

Niall Hobhouse, owner of the property, sold the property a few years ago to a South African hotelier who was developing a boutique hotel on the property. Hadspen is no more. The garden area has been renamed “The Newt” and although everything has been changed extensively, the heart and soul of the work of the Popes has become a wonderful memory.

After 20 years, the Popes returned to BC. When Nori died, Sandra continued to create a magical garden on Pender Island.

Imaginative use of perennials to create texture and harmony in the Hadspen Garden.  Photo credit: Ron Rule ConsultantsThe imaginative use of perennials creates texture and harmony in Hadspen Garden. Photo by Ron Rule Consultants /.jpg