ANDY Beatties garden is a showcase for the many talents of a man with a huge creative streak.
Though hes happy to put down his thoughts in paint, poetry and prose, retired Post Office worker Andy is a man of few words, particularly on the subject of his spectacular garden.
Praise the way it flows, extending into the landscape beyond yet wrapping visitors in layer after layer of charm and he looks nonplussed.
Tell him that his placement of plants, in terms of colour, architectural structure and form is remarkable and he will all but wince.
It is the nature of both man and his garden that it all looks cohesive, deceptively simple and stunning in its effect. To Andy, it is just the way it is, a garden that has evolved under his keen eye for detail and insistence on presenting everything, from pavilions, paving, pergolas and plants to their best effect.
What looks like new stone paving is actually what he laid 30 years ago with the help of his daughter Lesley then just a 10-year-old. Now its one of his grand-daughters who is at his side when we arrive to check-out his garden.
"I took up some decking which had deteriorated in the bad weather and uncovered the stone path wed laid many years ago," said Andy. "But it still looks good and actually now that Ive redesigned that bit of the garden it looks better than ever.
Andy has also created a stylish new table for one of his pergolas. "I used layers of Hammerite paint in blue and black, distressed it all and added some illustrations to the top from a book of Victorian flowers that I found in a charity shop."
Andy and his wife, Doreen see the garden as an extra room and spend as much time outdoors as they can.
Ponds and strategically placed seating offer different views and experiences.
There are hot borders to zing up the temperature planted extensively with Andys favourite, full-on fragrant lilies and calm pastel-coloured astilbes with their feathery fronds cooling the atmosphere both by colour and form.
MOST gardeners would view the loss of a mature cherry tree as a disaster.
But for Andrew Lindley, having to remove a specimen which paid its dues in blossom and fruit has provided an opportunity to develop new areas of the garden.
Andrew, bar manager at the Greyhound pub, shares his home and garden with Paul Taylor whose creative talents see him much in demand as costume and dress designer and maker.
Paul has just finished work on a satin wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses in navy for one client and is busy making a monster chefs hat for a cuddly creature costume for a new shop launch.
The two combine their eye for design in a garden which offers a challenge linking Andrews desire for creating flowing shapes and Pauls fastidious neat and tidy approach.
Those differing views have actually proved a winning combination in the shaping of a lush, flowing garden on a steeply sloping side but one with plenty of detail.
The difficult plot has been worked to perfection with subtle terracing and soft planting offering movement and structure.
Andrew uses water and his favourite sedges and grasses to perfection. The largely gentle colour palate is given a few hot spots of dashing colour but the overall effect remains soothing and harmonious.
There are boxes, baths and feeders to encourage bird life, log piles to attract beetles and plenty of well placed pots and statuary to punctuate the landscape and make the humans feel at home.
GRANVILLE Norths mature and beautifully tended garden reflects all the garden experience of a man steeped in horticulture.
"My first neighbour was an allotment holder and he said it would take you 15 years to get the garden you want," said Mr North. "I think thats about right."
Certainly the garden which wraps around the 1930s house which he shares with his wife, Muriel reflects that.
"What we have tried to do is create a series of rooms so that you dont see the whole thing in one blast," he said.
Those rooms showcase Mr Norths gardening skills encompassing everything from flowers and shrubs to soft fruit and herbs.
"My wife loves fuchsias and I overwinter those plus the hostas and geraniums indoors to ensure some continuity."
The garden also has a fair crop of vegetables, everything from peas, broad beans, cabbages and kale to beetroot and onions.
"Im trying out four different varieties of tomatoes to see which we like the best, including some Somerset yellow ones" he said.
Soft fruit bushes are brimming with summer produce - raspberries, black and white currants and even alpine strawberries, the latter grown to feed the birds.
"The only thing I spray with is Fairy Liquid and I do everything I can to encourage birds and wildlife.
"We get a huge variety of birds and I have a reed bed which helps oxygenate the pond.
"It us an archetypal English cottage garden which works very well with the style of the house."