Monday, June 13, 2011


While I nurse my own garden back to health, after so many weeks away, I want to share with fellow gardeners one of the gardens David and I visited on our recent trip to England. Earlier on in the spring we joined the Royal Oak Foundation. In association with the National Trust our membership would gain us entry into any of the hundreds of houses and gardens, belonging to the National Trust. Scattered throughout England, visiting these properties was to be the main purpose of our visit.
However, before leaving home I also arranged to visit one private garden in the Cotswolds. Stone House Garden is in the pretty village of Wyck Rissington. Behind high stone walls Katie Lukas has designed and planted one of the most delightful gardens I have ever visited.
Come with me through the garden gate.

You might expect this view of the house to be from the street but it is actually the side view of the house. The lawn is surrounded by deep perennial beds overflowing with color and form.

In one corner of the garden clipped topiaries lead the way to the summer house, a must in every English garden.

Which way to go first! We took the pathway along the stone wall. It led into the tennis court garden.

Another summer house, festooned with climbing roses, had a second life as a storage room for garden equipment.

We passed through into the pool garden.
The high stone walls divide the garden into a series of rooms. They are also used to create raised planting beds. This incredibly fragrant rose is Gertrude Jekyll. I wonder if I could find it over here. Her cerise pink color and fragrance are reminiscent of my Zephirine drouin.

Along side the pool garden a gravel pathway broken by diamond shaped stone separators.

Creative use of stones and broken tile.

An archway leads to the open fields and meadows.

Aubretia and campanulas everywhere.

A surprise view through a window in the tall hedge reveals a water feature.

Raised vegetable beds

In the meadow garden someone has crafted a dog from chicken wire.

More beautiful stonework.

In contrast to the Cotswold stone a brick paved garden with miniature topiary bushes. Geraniums were in flower all over England and here they flank the pathway.

View from the lawn down into the pool garden.

The stone wall arches are exquisite.

A corner of the pool can be glimpsed through the archway.

I was sorry not to meet the creator of this wonderful garden. Unfortunately Katie Lukas was away from the house when we visited on the Monday morning. As this was a private visit we had the whole garden to ourselves, save for the Lukas' little dog, and it was easy to pretend that it was our own garden!

Level changes add interest, the stone steps leading us back up to the pathway which leads back round to the front of the house.

As we left we glanced back at the house to the roses flanking the stone mullioned windows. Simply gorgeous.

Driving through the picturesque village we stopped to photograph this stone structure. I am told it is a Victorian drinking fountain, no longer functional.

And this pretty Cotswold cottage. The English seem to have the knack of pruning their roses flat against the wall. Something I have never mastered.


  1. Absolutely stunning! Each photo was an ooh and aah moment for me. So much to look at. Thanks for the tour. Love the diversity of it all yet how it all comes together. I like the little tile rabbit and the chicken wire dog touches as well. Very unique. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for showing these pictures!
    It's an amazing garden with beautiful roses.
    I love the raised beds of stone, archways, all!


  3. Really nice! Surely that garden isn't the work of a single person? There must be gardening staff...

    I'd love to see more of the gardens you saw over there. It's such a different climate.

    Welcome back!

  4. What a lovely place. I can picture you pretending it was yours. We'd do the same...

    And, coming back to Texas...where it's a bit drier and hotter...just might take some time to get used to.

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more tours, through your eyes.

  5. Mmmmm, lots of lovely inspiration. What a nice respite from the heat you enjoyed! Welcome home!

  6. As you said, Simply Gorgeous

  7. Thank you so much for sharing these photos, just absolutely beautiful. You can get a Gertrude Jekyll rose at Chamblee Rose Nursery in Tyler. They have an on-line site also.

  8. This looks like something out of a marvelous dream! It is storybook perfect! I can only dream of walking through something so lovely! WOWWWWW!!!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing your pictures of this wonderful garden. It is just beautiful. The Lukas' dog looks like a doll.

  10. Any idea of the size? It looks huge to me! And I am thinking the stonework is not recent. If it were Australia I would think 1920s.

  11. i have always thought you had a pretty wonderful garden so I was curious to see what this was going to look like. Hard to imagine living there. It's so gorgeous and all that stonework. But it does make me think I'd better get outside and do some weeding!

  12. I'm glad you enjoyed the visit to Katie's garden.
    Alan-I think all the design and plants cape was Katie's, however, I am sure the hardscape was done by professionals. We did see one young man working there.
    Cottage Dome- Thanks for the buying info. on Gertrude Jekyll. If I don't find it here I will get it from Tyler.
    Chookie-The Lukas' have had the houses for 18 years and I feel sure that the walls were done since they moved in. In the English climate they would weather fairly quickly.

  13. Lovely, thanks for sharing this. I'm embarrassed that you have been somewhere in this country I have never managed to get to!

  14. i'm drooling over this perfect garden. what a lucky duck you are to take a trip like that. i'm looking forward to more photos of your garden adventures!

  15. It is so damn green there. And I bet they never have to water. It's absolutely a gorgeous garden. But I'm feeling a little too envious of their mild climate to enjoy it as I should.