When Walter Marshall built Hambleton Hall in 1881 he appears to have followed the yardstick of house builders of that time to spend around 25% of the budget on external works.

As a result when I acquired the house in 1980 the garden benefitted from splendid terraces as well as Walter Marshall’s extensive tree planting to shelter the house from the north, east and west.

His designers created a kind of mezzanine bed between the front lawn and the Parterre ideal for rockery plants. Since my enthusiasm for gardening has grown in recent years I have become fascinated with this bed and the microclimate he created there.

Facing due south it is hot and dry and very sheltered, ideal for “Mediterranean” as well as alpine subjects. Thyme, lavender, myrtle, rosemary etc. all thrive there and euphorbias and dorichnium hirsutum are rampant. It also suits Alpines, many of which are too tiddly to be enjoyed at boot level but work much better when presented at waist level.

This corner of the garden cannot be seen from the house but I hope you will have an inspection on your next visit.