For our Anniversary this year we decided to take a trip to The Painswick Rococo Gardens in Gloucestershire. When we were first married we lived near Painswick in a cute little cottage called Squirrel Cottage so have lovely memories of this area but have never been to the gardens.
The Painswick Rococo Gardens are the only Rococo gardens left that are open to the public. Built in the 1740’s, they were created for the Hyett family to impress and entertain guests. Gardens at that time were in transition from the formal to the more frivolous with the idea that the garden was somewhere to enjoy and hold lavish garden parties. The garden has seen a significant restoration programme since the 1970’s based upon a painting of the original garden from 1748.
The gardens have a wonderful feeling of tranquility and are such a fabulous place to wander. There was a wedding taking place whilst we were there but it was not busy for a Saturday. It’s a garden to wander around or to take children to as they had a great trail looking for wildlife. There was a brilliant woodland walk and playground which younger children would love. Well behaved dogs are also welcome so next time Dottie is coming!
The kitchen garden was amazing and we loved the espalier fruit trees.
There was a delightful Plunge Pool where the water was crystal clear and looked so inviting! It was surrounded by shade loving plants such as large ferns and hostas.
The large, white gothic arch is the star of the whole garden in my opinion; a photographers dream! It stands at the top of the hill looking down the valley over the garden. It’s certainly dramatic and I loved it!
The anniversary maze -how apt!
I would definitely go back here again as the heavens opened and our visit was cut short. It’s supposed to be beautiful when all the snowdrops are out In February so I would love to come back then.
On a beautiful spring day we decided to make the most of the lovely weather and take a trip to Tyntesfield, near Bristol. We went to look at the gardens but you can’t go somewhere like Tyntesfield without visiting the house too!
Tyntesfield was bought by the National Trust in 2001 with help from the local community. It was extended as a family home in the 1860’s by William Gibbs who, at that time, was the richest commoner in England, having made his fortune from the sale of guano which was used as fertiliser. When it was sold, the owner of the time, Richard Gibbs was living in just 3 rooms as it needed so much work doing to it. The work that the National Trust has done is clear yet impressive. The house is a Victorian Gothic Revival House of wonder with over 50,000 pieces of interest. I was chatting to one of the guides who said that nothing was ever thrown away meaning that this unique property and it’s contents have been preserved in their entirety. It certainly feels as if you are stepping into a bygone age at Tyntesfield and it an absolute joy!
As you walk towards the house, you can take the route through the Rose Garden. I was really interested to see this as we want to try to create something similar in the old house garden. It was stunning, built on a slight hill with lovely views.
We arrived quite early so missed the crowds but there were many people enjoying the classic car collection for Fathers Day.
We were lucky to get to see the house. They restrict the number of visitors so you do need to get here early. The house opened at 11am and we went in before the crowds!
Inside is truly a masterpiece of Gothic craftsmanship. The interiors are not to my taste but you can not fail to be impressed by all the detail. The ceilings are ornately carved and the fire places are large stone affairs. From the Billiard room, a masculine space designed for leisurely pursuits to the grand dining room with it’s table laid for dinner, it’s a beautiful place to wander.
The family also added a grand and frankly, enormous Chapel. It was completed in the 1870’s just after William Gibbs died. It is larger than most village churches and has all the original chairs and altar furniture.
We then wandered to the Kitchen garden which was huge! The garden produced enough for the entire estate and the family even had produce brought to them weekly when they were at their London residence.
By this time we were boiling hot and had to get back to collect our son. We stayed about 3 hours but this is definitely a place that you could stay all day. I feel I need to go back to see it all again as I expect we missed quite a lot! Being National Trust members means we can easily go back whenever we wish.
Tyntesfield has got to be the most impressive house I have visited recently. It deserves more attention and I’m so glad the National Trust have done such a great job in preserving it.
I will leave you with some more beautiful photographs of a fabulous few hours!
At the weekend we were able to take a visit to Middlewick House in Corsham, Wiltshire. This beautiful house is owned by Pink Floyd’s drummer, Nick Mason and his family. It was once owned by Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge.
Nick opens his house for charity for a weekend in June and as we have never been, we thought we go and take a look! Hubbie came too but we left the children and Dottie at home this time.
As we arrived, we could not believe that there were so many people! We just couldn’t work it out until we walked up the drive to see this…
Nick had also decided to let the public see his car collection! What a very clever man! Beautiful gardens, a classic car collection, plants to buy, a BBQ and drinks. There were people with picnics, dogs and young children were running around and of course, everyone were very interested in the cars!
And now for the gardens….
Apart from the kitchen garden you could also roam around the rest of the garden.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon raising money for The Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
I have an old tin bath that I found in the old house garden when we moved in.
During the spring it was filled with some gorgeous tulips that I had planted in the Autumn.
The tulips have now died back so I have taken those out and put them in the greenhouse to dry out. I haven’t cut off any of the green leaves that are still attached as this will allow the bulb to gain any remaining nutrients in order to flower next year.
I went to B&Q and they had 20% off all plants at the moment so I bought lots of bedding plants to fill the bath. I bought:
Petunias -the upright double-flowered ones in purple.
Trailing Fuchsias in white, purple and pink.
Nemesia in purple.
Dahlias in a beautiful pink mix.
It looks rather lovely, especially with the other arrangement I worked on a few weeks ago. The patio looks a little happier. I also took out the enormous Euphorbia that had fallen over in all the rain last week. When I went to tie it back, I saw that it was rotten at the roots so it had to come out sadly.
The old tin bath only took an hour to plant up but will hopefully look lovely all summer long. I also moved a clematis into a new pot with a trellis. This clematis was one I bought last year but didn’t do well in the heat at the back of the patio so hopefully will fare better here where it has a little more shade. They like to be planted deep in the soil and I always add a stone across the roots as they like to be slightly shaded. I can’t remember which Clematis this is so we shall see!
Here are some other photos I took in the garden today.
Feel free to Pin any images that you like to your Pinterest boards.
OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.
We have been planting out the vegetables this weekend. In our vegetable beds we have peas, beans, cucumbers, rhubarb and peppers. I also hope to plant out a pumpkin. In the greenhouse we have tomatoes.
The pond area is also looking lovely as the foxgloves are beginning to flower.
Finally, I took some photographs over the weekend which have come out really well. The first is a Clematis taken at night. It was illuminated by the lights and looked so pretty.
The other picture I love is my Meconopsis which is flowering in the old house garden! I am so thrilled as these are quite tricky to grow. There is only one at the moment but another is coming through! These small things make me happy!