Gardeners Cottage in June

At first light, there's a sense of theatre about Jim Buckland's garden. As shafts of light illuminate an ancient stone column rising above a wildflower mound, they radiate through a leafy canopy to penetrate labyrinthine paths that converge on this central stage. 'I see the garden as a series of scenes, and it feels rather like walking on and off a stage as you pass through the different spaces,' explains Jim from his small, serene and secluded retreat in west Sussex. Cocooned in mature trees that part to reveal glimpses of the South Downs, the fifth-of-an-acre garden may be small, but it has great presence. 'There's a strong evergreen bone structure created from holly, box or yew topiary, as well as some lovely specimen trees.'

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