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20 St Stephens Avenue

Hostas, ferns and seasonal containers surround the patio. Densely planted colour themed mixed borders encircle a wildlife pond. Fences clothed with honeysuckle, clematis and roses provide perfume and privacy. Winding paths lead through and behind the borders, giving access to all areas. Varied plant habitats inc both moist and dry shade, hot gravel, and lush pondside planting.

Owner Info

  • Heather & Peter Osborne
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue
20 St Stephens Avenue

About 20 St Stephens Avenue

This secluded plantswoman’s garden lies a mile from the centre of the medieval city of St Albans and half a mile from the site of Roman Verulamium. We began developing the garden in 1995, when it was the proverbial blank canvas of lawn, bordered by ash, hazel and sycamore trees and straggly conifers. The back garden measures 12m wide by 53m long (40 x 175 feet) and faces north east. The soil is heavy red clay full of flints and pebbles and is neutral to slightly acid. We have improved it by the addition of home made compost, plus lots of grit and sharp sand.
A mixed hedge of evergreen shrubs on the front boundary provides screening from the road, and the rest of the front garden is planted with perennials and climbers mainly in yellow and dark blue, the colours of the crest of St Albans.
Initially, we kept the long central lawn in the back garden, removed many of the self-seeded trees and I (Heather) started making borders down the sides. We also put in an urn and arch at the end of the garden to act as a focal point.
In order to make our long thin plot look wider, I began to dig out borders which cut across the width, and we put in a large wildlife pond. The fences are now clothed with clematis, roses and honeysuckle, and specimen trees provide privacy. Shady borders down the right hand side contain ferns, hostas, hellebores and spring woodlanders such as disporums, trilliums and epimediums.
Winding paths cut through the flower beds which are packed with plants. The borders are themed by colours, such as pink and white, cool blues, or the ‘hot’ borders of oranges and reds. The most recent project has been to create a circular bed of ornamental grasses and prairie plants, which are back lit by the slanting sun of late summer.
The bottom section of the garden, hidden away behind trellis and an arch, features dahlias and heleniums, late season perennials, and a border with planting of lime green and burgundy. This is also the work area with a greenhouse, shed and compost bins. Pete is happy to give demonstrations of his compost-making methods.
A large conservatory gives shelter should the weather prove inclement. Seating in sun or shade provides different views around the garden. WC.

Location details

20 St Stephens Avenue,
St Albans,
Hertfordshire,
AL3 4AD

20 St Stephens Avenue openings

A group opening is when a number of gardens open together on the same day.

Refreshments Home-made teas.
Admission Adult: £7.00
Child: Free
Opening times 14:30-17:30

Accessibility

  • No information available at this time, please get in touch with the owners for details.
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FAQs

Yes, cashless payment is accepted.

Sorry, there is no available parking for coaches at 20 St Stephens Avenue at this time.

Sorry, no dogs are allowed in the garden at this time.

Yes, there are various plants offerred for sale at 20 St Stephens Avenue, please enquire with the owners for more details.

Sorry, 20 St Stephens Avenue does not yet accommodate wheelchair users.

Yes. 20 St Stephens Avenue seeks to offer a sustainable refuge for nearby fauna and wildlife. These sanctuaries host diverse habitats supporting indigenous flora and fauna and nurturing local biodiversity.