CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

Cheer up winter with memories of a sunlit Suffolk Garden

PUBLISHED: 18:01 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 18:01 16 February 2015




Jane Crowe visited Amelia Singleton’s Sibton garden in full summer bloom. Pictures by Clare Dawson


A garden is a delight to the eye, a solace to the soul, and produces that pleasure which is a foretaste of Paradise.”

Sa’Di 13th century

Approaching Wood Farm on a gently rising tree-lined track these musings of a Persian sage are seemingly prophetic.


This is a place where flowers know no boundaries, are joyfully free to drift and dwell unhindered among ancient buildings.

Billowing clouds of blue and pink geranium, silvery fennel, and purple verbena bonarienis surround the warmly painted farm house, and escape through the picket fence to form a welcome on the shingle paths. Poppies and ammi major, campanulas and gaura waft towards the lake, where a sea of blue surrounds a pristine white table. And there are butterflies everywhere.

Beside the drive, the skeleton of a venerable old barn forms a climbing frame for cascading roses and clematis. Sanders White and St Swithun, and C.Madame Julia Correvon festoon the beams and form a three dimensional background for the exuberant planting within. Soft pink roses, geums and Cleome, foxgloves, linaria and Japanese anemone, their colours intensified by a splash of bright turquoise from an elderly cauldron. The effect is quite breathtaking and one needs to take one’s time to absorb the abundance of treasures that nestle within.

The idyll doesn’t stop there. There is a truly impressive herbaceous border, a poem of blues and yellows, that leads on through an archway to a dreamily gentle garden of white willow herb, lilies, daisies and verbascum. Outside the office is a charming courtyard with plants spilling around an Etruscan style urn, all blues and silvers, and warm accents of orange.


This is a seemingly endless tour of delight, and at this point one knows for certain it is the work of a deeply intelligent mind.

Amelia Singleton is a garden designer who really does know her plants and her land. She has the added gift of an artists’s eye for colour and composition. Here planting may have an unstructured informality and a philosophy that allows the flowers to spread and seed at will, but the choice of those plants and the spectrum of their colours are very carefully considered and controlled.

As with all successful schemes, the answer really does lie in understanding the soil. Wood Farm sits on a seam of very heavy clay, so before starting any of her projects, Amelia prepares the land meticulously, removing all traces of former vegetation and adding copious quantities of grit and compost to improve fertility and structure.

Making the compost is a serious affair, and with the help of her husband and the appropriate machinery, she produces it on a semi-industrial scale. All the detritus from the garden is collected, shredded, piled and regularly turned to produce a precious medium full of the nutrients that soils require. After the beds have been planted they are never mulched, as this would prevent the proliferation of seeds, Rather compost is given to specific plants that have need of extra nourishment.

Amelia freely admits that the gardening at Wood Farm is labour intensive, but when designing for other people she’s more than happy to devise schemes that are not so demanding. Her plans are plant based and of a style that suits the setting – a village house might require a more formal approach for instance, than a garden in the midst of the countryside, and she is sensitive to the needs of her clients.

In Sibton she has created a flagship for her enterprise – a place of ethereal beauty, of peace, harmony and inspiration.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A converted chapel in the heart of Constable Country makes a spacious, light-filled home . . . and an intimate concert hall | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Mark and Jan Haines can’t wait for Christmas to arrive at their home, Billeaford Hall, a restored farmhouse near Knodishall | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Creative couple David and Henrietta Villiers have designed a stunning new home at Aldeburgh | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

When it’s frosty outside there’s nothing better than coming home to a crackling open fire - here are 6 great businesses who can help you find the perfect woodburner, fireplace or stove for your home

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Peter and Lorraine Finn have found their ideal place to get away from it all right on their Woodbridge doorstep | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Thursday, August 23, 2018

When you are next looking to build a brand new kitchen or revitalise your existing kitchen, you should consider these 6 top bespoke designers

Read more
Friday, August 10, 2018

When Jan Packard and Mark Haines were looking for somewhere to share their love of boats they couldn’t resist the unspoilt charms of the Alde and Ore | Words and Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search