Tuesday, August 25, 2009


As the relentless summer heat continues and my own garden gets crispier and crispier each day, I enjoy looking back at those green gardens we visited this summer.

This summer, while visiting England, we stayed with our friends who live in Worcestershire. They are both fine gardeners and it is a delight to visit with them and tour around their garden. They have an interesting house and garden arrangement. The house, a fine Victorian house, is  divided into two parts. They own the back half of the house and with that comes a large back garden, a carriage house, potting shed and greenhouse. 

On the end wall of the carriage house is an espaliered pear which is probably as old as the house. Roses climb as high as the roof line on both sides.

A stone pathway leads past the potting shed, opening into a terrace with a small pond. 

Our friends recently refurbished the greenhouse adding a conservatory area at one end. Sometimes, even in the summer, the greenhouse is a perfect place to sit any read the newspaper and enjoy a cup of tea.

But this greenhouse is a real workhorse, housing all manner of tropicals, succulents, and cacti.

Including some gorgeous blooms.

Many English gardens have great depth and afford the opportunity to divide the garden, as has been done here. Beyond the ornamental beds and the pyramidal yew are fruit trees, vegeables and compost bins.

The evergreen hedge, which runs down one side of the property, has an interesting feature which can be seen here.
and in close up below.

A yew growing through the hedge has been trained and clipped into an ornamental shape. 

Their gardening skills are not confined to the outdoors. They have a magnificent collection of orchids which seem to love the English climate.


  1. Wow! What a lovely place to visit! Beautiful gardens and I love the carriage house!

  2. Your friends have a very lovely garden. I would love to have a greenhouse like theirs, but I think that my husband is planning on building mine out of the old windows that he found in our carriage house (garage).
    The pattern on the stone paving is very interesting and I really like the look of the bricks used to edge the garden bed.

  3. I don't know whether to bless you or shake my fist at you for showing this beautiful, green garden as we continue to swelter here in Austin, RR! Ahhh, I will stick with blessings because it is a delight to see the pictures of this storybook garden. And look, a lawn that is appropriate for the climate, and green rather than crispy! That espaliered pear! Those rooftop roses!

  4. An amazing garden and greenhouse. Very beautiful.

  5. What a gorgeous garden your friends have, and I love their wonderful greenhouse. You must have caught one of the few good days this Summer in the UK. Made me smile when you menyion your 'relentless heat'. Raining and cool here in the UK today.

  6. Oh my, what a garden. I could spend an entire vacation right in their garden and greenhouse. So much to see! I love the surprise along the hedge. That would make you stop and think. Someone in that garden has a sense of humor.

  7. Thank you for a lovely visit. What a beautiful garden and outbuildings.

    Barbara H.

  8. It's beautiful. Do they take care of all this themselves? It must take a tremendous amount of work, but certainly worth it.

  9. Thanks for sharing your trips with us. What a beautiful place.

  10. Thank you all for visiting the garden.
    Deborah- I have a small greenhouse here. It is useless 90% of the time. In fact I only use it in the spring to start seeds.
    Hermes-We were lucky. The time it rained was as we entered the front door of Snowshill. As we came out the sun came out.
    Aiyana- Yes they have done this and maintain it all by themselves and it isn't the only hobby they have.

  11. The two things the British do better than anyone else in the world, garden and shoot shotguns.

  12. I just keep looking at this garden. It's so very English, and so unlike what I can or could do here -- our light and climate is so different, and the way we use space. Thank you for the glimpse into another way of gardening!

  13. I am amused that your friends are growing Texas cacti in the greenhouse! What a lovely garden. Its age contributes those lovely mature specimens while the contrast of the clipped evergreens makes everything pop.