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Sunday June 23rd 2024

The Assam Garden | 1985

Deborah Kerr (in her first film since 1969’s The Arrangement) is a widow who, returning to England from Assam, tends an Eastern garden planted by her late husband.

Locations had been scouted from Kew Gardens in Richmond, southwest London, d up to the west coast of Scotland (where semi-tropical plants flourish in the warm Gulf Stream, as you’ll know if you've seen The Wicker Man) when the film company found an ideal two-acre exotic wild garden, dating from 1910, which had been laid out, just as in the story, by a returnee from India.

Priors Mesne, overlooking the Severn Estuary near Aylburton, four miles south of Lydney in the Forest of Dean, appeared as the subject of the 1899 book A Gloucestershire Wild Garden and so impressed writer Elizabeth Bond as a girl that it inspired her to write The Assam Garden.

The garden is privately owned and not normally open to the public, though it may be possible to visit through the National Gardens Scheme, where many private gardens are open to the public for one day a year.