It has been 3 long years since I’ve traveled in in the English countryside. With each cancelled flight, my disappointment was assuaged by losing myself in the happy details of refining this garden trip–in anticipation of when the day came. It was time well spent! From the quintessential country house hotel outside Broadway, Buckland Manor (above) and…
to identifying an excellent driver (Uber is seldom a presence in the small towns and taxis are few), everything was perfection. And very festive, given the bunting in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Enjoy my “postcards,” capturing the high notes of a dreamy 10 days–many are images that I’ve longed to capture in person, like the famous laburnum walk at the late Rosemary Verey’s “Barnsley House,” where we stopped for tea. Lucky us, the laburnum was indeed in bloom. Don’t you love it paired with the purple allium?
Or the NY city block long herbaceous borders at Miserden.
Our days, of course, included taking the backroads through the iconic little villages (i.e. Bilbury, Upper Slaughter, Bourton on the Water, and Chipping Camden) where the ever-present climbing roses cloak the soft golden yellow Cotswold stone houses.
By late May, the tulips have passed and we were treated to the tall spikes of lupine, alliums, and digitalis (a favorite shown off so well in the feature image) accenting every garden, be it a herbaceous border or formal parterres.
And long lines of blue Bearded Dutch iris distinguished the edge of a potager garden at Upton Wold.
The measure of a successful garden trip is the list of new plant discoveries that you bring home. Topping my list is the rose Souvenir de la Malmaison! I had heard of this beauty but had not enjoyed the opportunity of seeing…and smelling it…in person. Never, ever, has my nose been treated to such a scent! I was giddy with delight. Despite the fact that the gardener at Rockcliffe mentioned that the plant has a reputation for lack of winter hardiness (USDA zone 6) and doesn’t like rain, I will throw caution to the wind and risk disappointment. Aaah, what we do for love.
See you next week for “Lessons Borrowed from Cotswold Gardens.” You’ll love some of the unusual sources of inspiration taking center stage.