"If you take the time to listen, the land will speak to you."
That is the first sentence of the chapter on Bunny Williams' sunken garden in her book, An Affair With a House. She then goes on to say that she did not follow her own advice when she was starting this garden. She was (and still is) an impatient gardener. But little by little, aided by an unerring sense of scale borrowed from her work in decorating, she has created a stunning formal sunken garden.
An elderly neighbor told her that the site was originally used for tennis. Miss Williams added two facing perennial borders, backed with a lattice fence. Next came a stone wall, which made the garden seem more like an enclosed room. Finally, a small rectangular pond, surrounded by stone paving and an evergreen hedge was added to pull the two borders closer together. A lattice archway with facing benches leads through a yew hedge to the more wild area beyond.
In the photos above, you will note the formal layout of the garden. One of the double borders is shown, with it's hot color scheme of reds and yellows. A pair of beautiful lavender hydrangeas flank the entrance to the garden, and the small pool is inhabited by a school of huge carp.