Open gardens…

One of our local villages held it’s open gardens event at the weekend. They really couldn’t have asked for better weather, in fact for those of us walking around it was almost too hot. (Note to self: must buy a decent sun hat that doesn’t make me look like a cricket umpire or extra from a Poirot episode)

I didn’t take many photos because it was just too bright to see what I was doing in most of the gardens, but also because it felt rather impolite.

But there’s no doubt that a HUGE amount of work had been done, bringing the various gardens to a peak of perfection. A great variety in styles and planting on show too, from immaculate Japanese -style, to a mini-Hidcote, cottage garden to stumpery, all beautiful in their own ways.

I’d assumed when we went that I’d end up feeling inadequate about our own little space, but oddly enough I came home very happy because I know I don’t have what it takes to create the sort of garden we visited yesterday. I love seeing what other people have achieved, but it doesn’t inspire me to do the same.

It was a thoroughly lovely way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, but I’m content that re-classifying our garden into a nature reserve was the right move for us. I’m much more of a potterer than a real gardener, although I do reserve the right to change my mind, who knows what might happen in years to come…

Hidcote Blues…


If all had gone to plan at the weekend, this post wouldn’t be here. Instead I’d have written about a visit to Chastleton House over at Mists of TIme (I’ve only been waiting about fifteen years to go to Chastleton, it had better be worth it when I finally get there!).

But on Sunday morning, after a week of rain and grey skies, the sun came out  as we  were driving westward and we made the executive decision to ditch Chastleton and head for Hidcote instead.

Which was such a good move, because it turned out to be the most perfect English summer’s day, and really, what better way to spend it than languidly wandering around one of the most beautiful and iconic gardens in the country (rather ironically the creation of an American).

I took about a zillion photos while we were there, but in honour of the famous lavender ‘Hidcote Blue’ (which I didn’t photograph at all…), here are just a few alternative blues spotted as we meandered through the seemingly endless secret gardens.

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For me, the experience felt like walking through an Impressionist painting. The dazzling variety of textures and jewel-like points of colour seep into your soul and I’m certain it’s not only gardeners who feel inspired by its treasures.

Hidcote Manor is tucked away in the countryside close to Chipping Camden and managed by the National Trust. It’s always beautiful, but just occasionally, when the Fates decide, it’s magical.


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