Thursday, July 14, 2011


No point getting off too early in the morning. Most NT places do not open until 11am There is always time for that leisurely English breakfast. I have to admit I am starting to flag a little, opting for only a boiled egg some mornings.

The dining room at Damson Cottage.

Wow, cards from Prince Charles and Camilla.


We were on our way up north and we were to visit Packwood House on the way. Packwood was built in the 16th century, although there have been many changes to the building. The original Elizabethan wood structure has been covered over with stucco.

Yes, another garden gate into another garden wonderland. This one is really impressive.

Although Packwood is renowned for its yew topiary, the flower garden rooms are pretty spectacular. This was one of my favorites but then I always love sunken gardens.

This is the wallflower, Bowles purple. I did once buy this but it just didn't like Texas.

Yew buttresses along the high brick wall. No doubt this idea was copied from the cathedrals. I have often seen it used in herbaceous borders to divide groupings of plants.

It is hard to imagine that this aeonium survives the English winter but maybe it was in a pot sunk into the ground.

Looking through the gate to the yew topiary. The yews are said to represent the sermon on the mount. A single clipped yew on the mount surrounded by 12 'apostles' and many more clipped yews, scattered around the large lawn, representing the multitudes.

The mount, with its single clipped yew, had been invaded by badgers, who were doing serious damage to the yews. The idea behind these little trapdoors was to allow the badgers out but only in one way. Finally the way out would be closed and a trail would lead them to a manmade badger set. We never did find out if it was working.

The vegetable garden.

Bee boles, alcoves in the wall where the bee hives were kept.

In one corner of the walled garden was a small room with a fireplace. It was lit to heat the brick walls so that espaliered fruit trees could be grown.

The interior of the house was no less impressive with its great hall, long gallery, period furniture and 16th century tapestries.
Leaving Packwood we decided we had time to visit another trust property which was really close by. That of Baddersly Clinton.


Built in the 15th Century, this moated manor house was the home of the Ferrers family for over 500 years. Being a Catholic house, continuing to worship as Catholics during the reformation, it was necessary for them to build hiding places for the priests who lived and worshiped with them. They have found at least three priest holes in various parts of the house. Some of them not very pleasant!

This priest would have been lucky, he had bread and water and may have been able to last out for a few days if the people who were searching the house stuck around for a while. MAny were not so lucky.

The gardens were delightful, even if the weather was rather threatening.

It held off just long enough for us to walk the grounds. I love these thatched summer houses.


Tall delphiniums and lupins.

Fruit bushes.

Neat rows of vegs.
Our next stop would be outside Chorley, where we were to spend the night with friends on their dairy farm. A restful Bank Holiday weekend with family and friends before heading back down the motorway and more visits.


  1. As a rule I don't like topiary or clipped hedges, but there are exceptions, and this (Packwood house) is one of them. So cool!

    Thanks again for these tours -- I never would have known about any of these places without your posts.

  2. Jenny, those are gorgeous places. I love viewing historical architecture, and from all appearances, I would love touring England. How fun for you to get to be a tourist in your native land!

  3. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Having been to England and gardens there last year, These photos are much appreciated. Oh to grow wallflowers like those. They don't much like Tennessee, either. But we grow them anyway.


  4. Your blog posts are making me homesick! Oh to be able to grow the plants I grew up with. Alas, as you have discovered, most of them don't like Texas.

  5. I have enjoyed all the posts of your trip but I have to say this one was my favorite. Beautiful.

  6. What an inspiration! Oh, those vegetable gardens are a work of art.
    Thanks for sharing the priest story. It's hard to imagine such difficult times for them.