A Keen Gardener’s Paradise: The Cotswolds
For the gardening enthusiast, there is perhaps no place more enticing for a summer holiday than the Cotswolds. The rolling green hills of the Cotswolds begin with the meadows along the upper Thames, and run west until they come to a climactic peak above the Severn Valley. The quaint villages that are nestled cosily within the folds of the rolling valleys are the very picture of a bucolic English countryside, and in addition to the Cotswoldian gardens that are open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme, many of the privately-owned historic and stately homes and castles that dot this spectacular countryside also open their gates during the blooming season. Listed below are just four of the spectacular privately-owned gardens that should definitely appear on any keen gardener’s don’t miss list.
Stone House Garden
Stone House Garden has been carefully cultivated over the past 18 years, and is situated on 2.5 acres of Cotswoldian land in Cheltenham. Designed as a cottage garden, the design is made up of several garden “rooms”, each meant to be a part of a series that create a flow around Stone House while maintaining their own unique individual charm. Although there are a handful of open days on each calendar year, visits to Stone House Garden are generally arranged by appointment. They accept groups (providing prior arrangements have been made), and light lunches and refreshments can also be provided with prior arrangement.
Although Barnsley House is now being run by the owner’s son, the gardens were created in 1952 by well-known writer and gardener Rosemary Verey, who resides there to this day. Located in the village of Barnsley, a walk around the gardens is open to anyone who is dining or having tea.
Bourton House Garden
Located on three acres is Gloucestershire, Bourton House Garden has been winning the hearts and minds of tourists and gardening enthusiasts alike, having just clinched the 2013 “Small Visitor Attraction of the Year” award at the Cotswold Tourism Awards. Taken on by the Paice family in 1983, the neglected gardens were transformed from an overgrown jungle into a pristine and well-imagined spectacle that features everything from a knot garden to water features and a very unique shade house. Though Bourton House came under new ownership in 2010, the gardens remain open for visitors, and there is an ongoing schedule of events to participate in.
Cerney House Gardens
Cerney House Gardens near Cheltenham has been the home of Sir Michael and Lady Angus and their family since they purchased it in 1983. At that time, they undertook a great many renovations, among them restoring the gardens of Cerney House to their original Victorian beauty, and a full restoration of the still working walled kirchen garden. Cerney House Gardens are absolutely stunning, and in an equally stunning setting. The gardens are open to the public from the end of January to the end of October, although will take visitors outside of these times with prior arrangement.
Why not make your visit to one of these beautiful gardens that bit extra special by staying in a local Luxury property. Temple Guiting Manor and Barn for example also have stunning gardens and sometimes open them up to the public. However if you are staying there you get to have the gardens all to yourself!Tags: Cotswolds