Madingley Hall, gardens and health. (8/18)

Having spent a tedious morning on the phone to the Department of Work & Pensions, followed by a lengthy call to BT to try and sort out longstanding internet problems, I decided it was time to visit a garden and restore my equilibrium. Twitter brought my attention to the fact that Madingley Hall was opening its … Continue reading Madingley Hall, gardens and health. (8/18)

5 Burbage Road, Herne Hill; a tiny touch of Spring.

Following the book launch of the National Garden Scheme's Gardens to Visit at the Royal Festival Hall last Thursday I decided to walk along the Thames, jump on a train at London Bridge and travel to North Dulwich. As I walked the 5 minutes down Half Moon Lane the sun came out and there was a feeling … Continue reading 5 Burbage Road, Herne Hill; a tiny touch of Spring.

Austwick Hall; sculpture and snowdrops

Staying on a short break near Settle in Yorkshire last week we found Austwick Hall perched above a pretty Dales village not far from the market town of Settle.  Set in 13 acres the garden and woodland had just had its open day for the NGS during the snowdrop Festival. Close by the house the … Continue reading Austwick Hall; sculpture and snowdrops

Repton and his business

It is the bicentenary of the death of Humphry Repton, he of the Red Book fame. There are many events organised and gardens gates opening throughout the year. This piece was so interesting that I am reblogging.

The Gardens Trust

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you hadn’t already realised 2018 is Repton Year, when we’re commemorating the life and work of the last great landscape designer of the eighteenth century.  Unlike the Festival for his ‘predecessor’ Capability Brown there is no great central nationally funded organization. Instead Celebrating Humphry Repton  will be a collaborative effort, which, even though although it can’t match the funding of CB300,  looks certain to match the enthusiasm and spread of interest nationally.  County Gardens Trusts and other groups will be arranging events around the country throughout the year to celebrate Repton’s work. You can find a list – continually being updated – at this dedicated webpage on  The Gardens Trust website.  If you would like to get involved or receive updates email The more people who join in, the better the celebration!

And of course the blog is going to play its small part.  Repton has…

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T’was the week before Christmas. (*****)

T'was the week before Christmas I’d finished the year Ninety great gardens so far and so near The stockings were hung on the gateposts with care In the hope that the NGS raised such good fare All gardeners now were so snug in their beds With visions of plum trees that danced in their heads … Continue reading T’was the week before Christmas. (*****)

Stoke Mandeville, Horatio’s Garden. (90)

For The Ninetieth garden I was invited to see a very special garden at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The day of the visit, last Monday the sky was a dull grey and there had been heavy snow the previous day. The Hospital is famous for its National Spinal Injuries Centre, one of the largest specialist … Continue reading Stoke Mandeville, Horatio’s Garden. (90)

The Manor House, Bledlow; sculpture and setting (89)

Back in May we stayed with friends in North Buckinghamshire and they suggested we might visit Bledlow Manor, the home of Lord Carrington. A beautiful drive through the Chilterns brought us to this lovely estate and we were able to park under the line of flowering chestnut trees. The house had been in the family … Continue reading The Manor House, Bledlow; sculpture and setting (89)

Lakeside House, a welcome and watery restoration. (87)

The calendar of garden visiting is on pause now, and with the skiing season fast approaching one of the gardens I look back at with fondness, is the extraordinary garden at Brundall, once known as 'The Switzerland of Norfolk'. The garden was created in 1880 by a Dr Beverley who, along with planting an arboretum, … Continue reading Lakeside House, a welcome and watery restoration. (87)

Ramster, open for 90 glorious years. (86)

I cannot draw to the end of my 'ninety' without including the historic rambling wooded gardens of Ramster in Surrey.  It was one of the original 609 gardens that opened for the NGS back in 1927 and has opened every successive year since. It is the only other garden along with Sandringham to hold such … Continue reading Ramster, open for 90 glorious years. (86)