Monday, 15 November 2010

And now for some beautiful "B" gardens!

Barnsley House, former home of famous gardener Rosemary Verey, has been on my wishlist for years, so imagine my excitement when I had the chance to go there earlier this year and do a day's photography with Clive Nichols, one of our best UK garden photographers. It was a truly memorable day and I know I learned a lot from Clive. He's a wonderful, patient teacher and I really recommend his courses to any of you that are interested in garden photography. The garden was wonderful too and although the famous laburnum walk (above) was past its prime when we were there, it was a pleasure to walk in the footsteps of Rosemary and see why she was so ahead of her time in terms of garden design.
One of the best gardens I visited this year was the other side of the pond - at Berkeley in California - where I was lucky enough to spend a week in February. I was treated to one of the best displays of rhododendrons I've seen yet and really enjoyed my time in this magical garden. But it was this guy on the roof that really caught my eye! The gardens I visited in California really caught my imagination and I'm hoping to get back there because I hardly touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's on offer. I still have to see all the verdant wonders near L.A. so that's my plan for spring 2011.
And it wasn't just the gardens that caught my eye in California. I've never seen such large waves as the day I drove the coastal road on Big Sur, or seen so many wonderful wild flowers along the highway! My husband was with me on the trip, which made it extra special, as he'd never been to the West Coast, and although I kept stopping to see gardens, he really enjoyed himself too. 
Back in Britain, it was Bourton House that sailed to the top of my favourites list, while visiting the gardens of Gloucestershire. This is a truly wonderful garden - not too large, but filled with unusual features like the topiary (above) and set in a stunning position on a hillside with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. I know that many of my fellow bloggers have written about Bourton House, including Edith Hope, who gave a riveting account of her connection with the previous owners, so do visit her blog for the inside story.
And yet another first-time visit for me this year was Buscot Park in Oxfordshire. This glorious property has a water garden designed by Harold Peto (above) which draws you in like a magnet. It's a series of  stepped canals that open out into ponds and then narrow again, featuring bridges and fountains all the way from top to bottom. Edged with mature trees and immaculately clipped box hedges, you find yourself in a watery fairyland here. There's also a stunning walled kitchen garden with splendid ornamental borders. Definitely one to make a detour for!
   And these are just a few of the wonderful "B" gardens I've visited this year, so for more, you may wish to see what I chose in 2009!

11 comments:

  1. Wow ... nice blog.
    Kh Lone - Denmark

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  2. Dear Charlotte, I am thrilled to see that you have included Bourton House in your list of amazing gardens. As you know, this garden occupies a very special place in my heart because of its connection to my dear friends who gave 25 years to its development. I understand that it will open in 2011, so it will be interesting to see how the new owners stamp their mark on this wonderful garden.

    Thank you so much for your kind and generous mention of my weblog.

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  3. So many many wonderful places one could visit, and you make them so enticing.

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  4. The 'B's' deserve an 'A'. LOL. These are some pretty gorgeous gardens. Buscot Park is one I would love to see in person. Your magnet comment was so on the mark. I feel the pull.

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  5. Oh how I love the whimsy of that praying mantis! Your photos are very alluring.

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  6. Enchanted gardens..I would love to see it with my own eyes!

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  7. Lovely gardens, dear Charlotte, and the photos are calming the eyes! Eszter

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  8. Bourton House... I loved it, and occasionally found it simply too precious. My favourite is the raised borders across the lawn overlooking the countryside. I'm afraid I look at all this topiary and wonder whether its first purpose is not to show off how much well-trained, expensive labour they can afford... No; I don't like that remark. Let's just say that stylistically it fits neither with the 21st century nor the beautiful, severe Georgian (?) style of the house. So WHY then?

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  9. Charlotte that's the famous laburnum walk isn't it. I have always admired that scene when I've seen it in books. How wonderful to spend the day with a photographer with such a background of experience.

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  10. Oh, I love every post you post! It's always so interesting to see the world thrue your cameras lins / gittan

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  11. hello Charlotte, those are great gardens, but i love the photo on your header better. haha

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