Saling is a garden of moods. The philosophy in designing it was to evoke different responses by deliberately enclosing or releasing the visitor in tighter or more open spaces, each with a mood of its own. Some are bright, airy, high-coloured, others romantic with the play of water in shadow, or tranquil with patterns of trunks and leaves. It uses sculpture as reference points to memories of the classical world or the orient. It uses plants for their intrinsic beauty and botanical interest, but also for the many different senses of place and mood they can contribute to a frankly escapist horticultural excursion.
You can use the website as a virtual tour of the garden, or just to visit out of curiosity. It shows photographs of various named areas changing with the seasons and lists the 1,000 or so permanent (more or less) woody plants to be found.
Welcome to Saling Hall.
Some facts and figures
Saling Hall Garden is 12 acres or 5 hectares of rural Essex
, 300 feet above sea level on chalky boulder clay (including patches of gravel). Average rainfall is 23 inches, the highest since 1990 being 34 inches and the
lowest 16. Previous to this last winter, when the minimum temperature was -12' C, the last winter with extensive cold damage to woody plants was in 1982. Frosts have been rare between April and November in recent years.
Two gardeners work here full time. Eric Kirby from 1974 and Aileen Foulis from 1995.
Their approach is not fanatically organic, but what the French call ' lutte raisonnée ' or 'reasonable battle' against pests and diseases. Bird life is rich and mammal life too rich (in grey squirrels, rabbits, muntjac and sometimes roe deer).