Frank and Marjorie Lawley have spent almost 40 years at Herterton House, a 16th century farmhouse on the Wallington Estate, near Cambo (birthplace of Capability Brown) in Northumberland.
When they leased Herterton from the National Trust in 1976, the Lawleys took on a series of derelict farm buildings. This highly original and personal book describes in detail how, with patience and passion, they restored Herterton House and created an exquisite and unique garden. As well as discussing the practicalities involved, it also describes the influences and the lifetime of thinking behind their achievement.
Within its mere acre, the garden at Herterton House provides more visual interest and more interesting plants (plants you can also buy from its small nursery) than many gardens twenty times its size. It also stimulates visitors to think about what plants to use and how to use them, about the history of English gardens, about the relation of the past to the present and about the relation of a garden to the landscape around it.
This stunning book records and celebrates Frank and Marjorie's achievement over four decades at Herterton House. With photographs by Val Corbett and an introduction by Charles Quest-Ritson.
The story of how an ancient house was brought back to life and a fitting garden created around it
Frank Lawley was born in Bloxwich, Staffordshire and has been known as Frank for over sixty years. Frank and his wife Marjorie have spent the past four decades rescuing Herterton House near Wallington, a long-abandoned sixteenth century farmhouse, and designing, creating and maintaining around it a new but appropriate country garden.
Val Corbett is a freelance photographer based in the Lowther Valley on the eastern fringe of the Lake District. She is well known for her garden and landscape photography which has featured in many books and magazines.
Charles Quest-Ritson is a UK-based writer and journalist specialising in horticulture and social history.
"a fascinatingly personal account...chatty and engaging, it’s fully a memoir, only incidentally a gardening guide."
"Lovingly penned, deeply personal and strangely moving, it speaks volumes about the intense relationship that a gardener gradually forges with the space that he/she tends."
"The Lawleys are unique in today's fashion-driven gardening world, 'doing their own thing', doing it superlatively. The book is required reading for any rookie garden maker, and the garden itself should be on everyone's visiting itinerary while its begetters are still above ground."
“For anyone who enjoys visiting gardens, there are few pleasures to match that of discovering a hidden jewel in an out of the way corner. That in a way is the sort of experience I have had in encountering this engaging book.”
"Frank and Marjorie Lawley have been making and tending a deeply considered acre of garden for almost 40 years. I am one of the admirers of its striving for unity without repetition and its exceptionally subtle use of shapes and colours. Now Frank has given us a full study of its making. He tells it with unusual clarity and aptness. His book, Herterton House and a New Country Garden, is unmissable, a simple but penetrating account of a home and garden’s formation and the Lawleys’ gradual realisation of both."
"The book is a delight to read and the gardens are a joy to visit. Start your Christmas shopping early by buying the book – for anyone and everyone who loves gardens."
"Written in fresh, often beautifully simple language, which has an emotional resonance that's rare in a garden book. The design is just right for this thoughtful book. This is a gem of a book, destined to become a classic."
'"A remarkable book..uniquely engaging, should also be read for its wisdom and its poetry."