Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Monday morning we left our B&B and headed out towards Hampshire on the A272. I had planned the trip with opening days in mind, as many places are closed on Mondays. Fortunately one of the gardens I was anxious to visit, Hinton Ampner, was open Monday. On the way we decided to visit another stately home, that of Petworth House. We were not particularly enamored by the tour of the house, save for the kitchens which were really amazing. The gardens consisted solely of parkland. We continued on our way.

Ralph Dutton is largely responsible for the house and garden as they are today. When the house was largely destroyed in a fire in 1960, he re did the house in the simple Georgian style and replaced all the destroyed furniture and paintings with Regency style furniture and Italian paintings. He was a knowledgeable gardener resulting in one of the finest shrub gardens in the country.

The view from the south terrace takes in the chalkland downs.

The steps down to the lower terrace are softened with erigeron.

In this lower garden yews have been clipped into regimented topiary.

What a fun garden in which to play hide and seek!

Yews stand guard at the grass pathway leading to the Saxon church.

Ornate gate with coat of arms.

We were to see the lumpy, dollopy yew clipped like this in many gardens on this trip.

The eye is drawn down the yew avenue to a statue at the far end.

It seems Monday is a great time to visit. Very few people around. A perfect place to visit. Now it was time to drive to Romsey to find our B&B for the night.

We were delighted to find that Ranvilles Guest House was all that a B&B should be. Period Grade 11 listed house which had been tastefully modernized inside.

We strolled around the garden before heading into Romsey for dinner.

Next morning it was another English breakfast. This time kippers were on the menu. Who could resist!

On day 5 we planned to visit Mottisfont and Mompesson House.


  1. Gravel paths, no edging except plant-defined, and a simple focal point - perfection! And those steps with the plantings to soften - double perfection! Thanks.

  2. I"m enjoying touring these gardens with you. Petworth House reminds me of my childhood. Every summer we would go to the seaside at West Whittering and went past Petworth House on the way.

  3. Another beautiful glimpse, thank you!
    I also appreciate the lack of edging. in some areas, i've used limestone block to define large sections, but generally i don't like everything strictly edged. i guess i like to color outside of the lines ;)

  4. I LOVE those brick steps in the first garden--so lovely, bringing order and access to those soft, rolling downs.

    I don't care for the clipped topiary, especially the "dollopy" sort, but I do like the straight clipped boxwood and the yew hedges. So many axial views to a focal point--very orderly, classic and beautiful.

    Never had kippers for breakfast--fish? Interesting!

  5. What a spectacular garden! I have often dreamed of having a garden like that. I suppose I would need a lot of help. Romsey has a lovely garden as well. ...love the game of peek-a-boo among the tall shrubs. Thanks for the tour!

  6. I am really *loving* these gardens! That photo of the "chalkland downs" makes me want to take off running. How could you resist? :-)

  7. It's been so fun to take these tours with you. I've been fascinated with your blog for a while and it's interesting to see some of the gardens that inspire you. I can see some of the influences in your garden.

  8. Loved the hide and seek photo! Very cute! Thanks for sharing these fabulous gardens. I can only dream and drool.

  9. Looks like a place I could get lost.

    On purpose.