Garden open to the public by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. Crane
Beau Desert, the impressive 18th century home of Mr and Mrs Michael Crane since 1995, lies in the heart of Trinity in approximately 14 vergees of carefully tended gardens. To your left, as you enter the grounds, there is a stream and small lake surrounded by trees including willows and cornus. The drive, almost hidden under the cherry trees, is underplanted with rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas and leads up past sloping lawns to the circular courtyard. Planting here includes clipped Laurus Nobili, magnolias, Photinia Red Robin and standard Rosa “The Fairy”. The herb garden is through the small gates to the left of the house and is a box-hedged parterre containing potted herbs, under trellises of Solanum Crispin Glasnevin, white wisteria and jasmine. Walking on, the main garden reveals itself with a marvellous panorama of lawns, sweeping curved beds and borders in a profusion of colours. There is also elegant statuary in all areas of the garden. Some recent replanting has been necessitated by the fall of a large walnut in the winter storms. It destroyed a 30 foot swathe of mature shubs, no less!
The spectacular eight “lollipop” topiaried holm oaks flank the steps to the upper lawns and the enclosed swimming pool area with its impressive array of exotic style plants and shrubs, including phormiums, magnolias, pittosporums, crocosmias, cannas and hibiscus which grow against the walls of this Mediterranean style garden.
Teas will be served on the sun terrace where fragrant sweet peas grow and constantly flower through the teak obelisks. The lawn is formally edged with block planting contained within liriope edging and containing masses of Anenome Honorine de Jobert and Hemerocallis. Blocks of lavender and low hedges of Hebe Marjorie contain lawned paths.
One’s eye is drawn to the upper lawns with their huge island beds and surrounding deep borders all planted with trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials in swathes of different colours. The shrubs include azaleas, camellias, magnolias, hydrangeas, abelias, weigelas, roses, ceanothus, potentilla, tree peonies, hebes and philadelphia. Underplanting the shrubs are varieties of hosta, lavender, cistus, geranium, day lily and erysium to name but a few and all provide sheer delight in every direction.
The woodland walk, hidden from view from the main garden, has really matured in recent years. The pathway is lined with logs taken from trees felled on the property providing a wildlife habitat; mature conifers and pines tower over the beautiful azaleas, rhododendrons and tree ferns; thousands of bulbs bloom here in the spring.
The design from the original parkland to this lovely garden was originally carried out by the UK based designer Robin Williams, a Chelsea Silver-Gilt and Silver Medal winner and Hampton Court Gold Medal winner, and later local designer Paul Bennett undertook subsequent revisions including creating the herb garden, the arrival courtyard and the new woodland gardens and gardens to the west. The garden is constantly being revised and improved with summer bedding being grown on site in the new greenhouse in the valley. Evolving design and hard work put in by Mr and Mrs Crane and their gardeners throughout the year make this a highly memorable garden; despite an ongoing battle with the local rabbit population who have a voracious appetite for newly planted perennials, it is a true Jersey idyll and a privilege to enjoy.
- The walk from the field car park, opposite the Beau Desert, is not that long but if anyone is unable to manage this, then they can be dropped off at the top of the drive.
- It is a gently sloping garden but it has one set of steps near the tea area which is fairly steep and would be better to avoid if slightly unsteady on the feet. There is an alternative walk down to the tea area which is a slope and a couple of steps.
- There is also another optional flight of steps that are also quite steep but, if these are not taken, it does not stop anyone walking round the entire garden.
- Woodland walks around the outside but all pathways are clear and easy to manage.
- There is a pond at the front of the house and parents are forewarned to be aware of this and keep an eye on their young children.
- This garden is not Wheelchair friendly but a push chairs could cope.
La Rue de la Garenne,
20th of June
Route 5 (Liberation Station – St John’s Church)