Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Goodbye July - we saw the sunshine at last, but will it be the wettest on record?

RHS Hampton Court is always a major July event for garden and plant lovers
The sunshine finally arrived in July, but left just as quickly as it came! I went in search of new gardens in Cumbria and Yorkshire and found them, travelled briefly to France where I finally saw Le Bois des Moutiers and several gorgeous chateaux gardens, made it to Asthall Manor in Oxfordshire for the biennial sculpture exhibition, and of course, there was Hampton Court Flower Show. We will, no doubt, find out in the next couple of days whether this has been the wettest July on record, but I've certainly had more than my fair share of getting soaked while visiting gardens!
The rose garden at Newby Hall in Yorkshire
The weather did stay relatively dry for my visit to Yorkshire earlier this month, where I managed to see at least eight new gardens, including York Gate, the garden run by Perennial, Parcevall Hall, with its magnificent terraces and a few others including Newby Hall (above), Sleightholme Dale (below) and Stillingfleet Lodge - all yet to be reviewed.
Sleightholme Dale Lodge in North Yorkshire - to be reviewed in August
The forecasters keep promising us better weather for August, but it remains to be seen if their predictions will be correct. This has certainly been the wettest summer on record here in Britain and the doom and gloom cast over us all by the hosepipe ban earlier in the year, soon turned into a joke here in England, as local water boards refused to lift the ban, even in the face of severe flood warnings around the country. And as we speak, Olympic competitors are doing battle with the elements on the south coast.
Le Bois des Moutiers near Dieppe in France - an Edwin Lutyens house and garden
My plans for August include a trip to Gloucestershire to revisit some of the great gardens there and a short break in Norfolk to see Will Giles' Exotic Garden in Norwich, as well as some of the other gardens that are missing from my lists, including Houghton Hall and East Ruston. But in the meantime, I've got many reviews to catch up on, so hope to add new gardens every other day during the next month for my readers - they're all photographed and ready to go - so I just have to find the time to sit down and write about them. Hope you'll find time to check in and see where I've been as the month progresses.
For more gardens to visit in France and England, click here


  1. How beautiful the first image with the book ... A greeting!

  2. beautiful....!!! i agree with Soportales 8, that the first image is like the center spread of a very thick book!!