How lucky were we! In mid-September we chose perfect weather to enjoy a well earned holiday in the Cotswolds. It was a little bit of a busman’s holiday in that we visited several gardens – but what a perfect time to see them resplendent in their autumn colours.
First we visited Bourton House Garden, an 18th century manor house that boasts a wonderful knot garden and herbaceous borders of rare and exotic plants. The garden had several spring fed water features, including a raised basket shaped pond that was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851.
Later in the week we visited Hidcote and Kitfsgate Court Gardens both in the same day. I have to say Hidcote was my favourite, with its wide herbaceous borders divided into a series of ‘rooms’ that lead the visitor around the garden.
Major Lawrence Johnston created the garden. He was passionate about plants and was a very talented garden designer. He created the garden from a blank canvas between 1907 and 1938, adding to it in phases around his active military career. In 1948 he signed a deed of transfer for the estate into the care of The National Trust for future generations to enjoy.
After a delicious lunch in the restaurant we visited Kiftsgate Court. I first heard about this garden when it featured on BBC Gardeners World when Carol Klein visited and I could not wait to get there myself.
The garden did not disappoint, and the views over the surrounding countryside were breath-taking. Kiftsgate has been created by three generations of lady gardeners and was a delight to see. I think my favourite part of this garden was the modern water feature with sculpted heart-shaped copper leaves that trickled with water into the pond below.
As lovely as those gardens were to see – it is always good to get back home to your own garden – even if it has started to look a bit like a jungle in your absence!
In late September Andrew and I presented the backdrop we used for our show garden at this year’s Taunton Flower Show to East Coker Primary School. Our garden celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing and we hope that this will inspire future generations to reach for the stars.
Until next time