Four Special Gardens
“And a bird overhead sang Follow, and a bird to the right sang Here; and the arch of the leaves was hollow, and the meaning of May was clear” by Algernon Charles Swinburne
May is a month with pencil marks in the diary for village events, pub lunches, and the sheer pleasure of visiting gorgeous gardens in the Cotswolds that open their gates and cheerfully allow us in to wander, relax and return home revived, inspired, and be ever-so-slightly miffed by the loveliness of it all.
And so it was that this month offered up four special gardens and places to visit in Gloucestershire with many more on the summer horizon ahead. Try and track down The Yellow Book produced by the NGS (National Gardens Scheme) that shows all the gardens in the grounds of private houses that are open and raise funds for charities throughout the year. Some have interesting plants to buy, and usually a perfect place to stop for a pot of tea and homemade cake. Aylworth Manor, one of our Cotswold Village Rooms also opened up their lovely gardens to the public this year.
Stanway Fountain & Water Garden near Winchcombe, home of the Earl of Wemyss & March
Gorgeous setting in umpteen acres, 16th century manor house with a tythe barn and church. Walled garden, parkland, amazing views, peace and tranquillity. A water fountain shoots straight up 300 feet into the air and is the highest in the country, and the world’s highest gravity fountain.
Stowell Park near Northleach
Peaceful swathes of green terraces with lovely views over the Coln Valley. Wide sky and woodland. Wide colourful borders and pleached limes abound. Two walled gardens with vegetables, fruit, and flowers and water features.
Sezincote near Moreton in Marsh
Step away from the Cotswolds for a moment, this could be India. Beautiful house with a copper onion dome, now turned bluey-green, an orangery and formal Indian style inspired gardens. What a unique and gorgeous place. Water garden, lawns, fountain, temple, wooded surrounds – it’s just lovely.
Rodmarton Manor between Cirencester and Tetbury
Eight acres of grounds surround this lovely Cotswold Arts and Crafts manor house. Meander under clipped yew and box and stone arches through eighteen different garden spaces, some quite formal and others less so. Gorgeous deep herbaceous borders, clear water pool and summer house. A real treat to visit.