Thursday, July 19, 2012


June 23rd 2012
Finding ourselves within a few miles of the David Austin Rose Center it was our first stop of the day. Another cloudy day but just as long as the rain holds off.

I have never seen so many different varieties of rose at the same time under one sky and almost everyone had a fragrance. I have chosen to combine all the photographs together as it does make for an easier posting. Our visit was brief; just enough time to walk around all the different gardens and enjoy the fragrance. I can imagine what it would be like to be in the garden on a warm summer's afternoon.

The gardens are laid out as separate rooms with walkways and pergolas and statuary to add interest. David Austin USA is to be found in Tyler Texas and all roses are grown here in the USA.


Our next stop was Wightwich Manor and Gardens near Wolverhampton. Built by Theodore Mander in the late 1880s Mander was inspired by Oscar Wilde's lecture on the House Beautiful.

The house was commissioned in the old English style and built from brick and timber.

We enjoyed the guided tour of the house, with its pre raphaelite art and William Morris fabrics, before entering the Art and Crafts garden, by Thomas Mawson, which was added by Theodore's son Geoffrey.

I don't really want to say I was disappointed in these gardens but the fact is I had expected more. Maybe the soggy summer was to blame.


Just a few miles away lies 'the house that saved a king.' The house to which Charles 11 fled following his defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651. We thought ourselves very fortunate that one of the volunteers who was standing at reception, when we arrived, offered to give a us a private tour of the house.

With apologies for the poor quality of the indoor photos( the flash is broken on my camera) this is the bed that Charles 11 slept in.

 And the priest hole in which he hid when Cromwell's men came looking for him.

Of more interest to the gardener was a nice display of herbs and their culinary and medicinal uses.

And the views through the window to the knot garden.

We were almost at the end of the tour, sitting by the large Inglenook fireplace in the kitchen when a lady rushed in and breathlessly asked if we were in a grey Ford Focus car. "You have been broken into" I am busy thinking about what was in the car. Our carry ons were on the back seat as there wasn't any room in the trunk. David's back pack and my soft sided bag on the floor. We rush out to the car to find this.

Three of those items taken. In the back pack David's Ipad, camera and our UK phone, his address book, clothes for the wedding, wash bag set of plug adaptors. The police were called. They discover two other cars broken into and their 'sat navs' stolen. To cut a long story short. The police tape up the window, David spends an hour on the phone finding a place to fix the window. Thrifty car hire is closed after 12pm on Saturdays so the AAA take over. We are spending the night 100 miles away and arrange to meet the window repair man in Hereford at his place of business. He finally shows up at 7pm during which time David has dropped me off at The Green Whale Tump near Ross-on-Wye and gone back to get this window fixed. By a stroke of good fortune I have arranged for dinner at the B&B and they hold off until 8:30 when we open a bottle of wine, enjoy a wonderful home cooked meal and determine this incident will not spoil our holiday.

WARNING NEVER LEAVE A SINGLE SOLITARY THING ON DISPLAY IN YOUR CAR. Thieves will break in and steal anything they can sell. The car insurance does not cover theft of items on the rear seat of the car!
We never got to see the gardens of Moseley Hall which is planted with plants that grew in the 17 century. I doubt we will go back to see them.

Breakfast at the Green Whale Tump
After a good night's sleep and the usual great breakfast we packed up or bags, all of which now fit in the trunk and set of for the first venue of the day. 


  1. terrible to be robbed on your trip! I always worry about things out in the open in cars, even at home.
    The gardens are beautiful, though.
    Glad the evening ended well, at least.

  2. So sorry to hear of the robbery. Glad it didn't ruin the trip.

  3. When I first saw the photo I thought it was a "we left the window down and it rained" image, but now I wish it were so. So sorry! Can't wait to see more garden tour photos though. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

  4. Oh no! It seems like robbery is a common theme for all of my friend's vacations - one friend had $500 stolen from a hotel room safe; another had their car broken into and had $1000 worth of stuff taken; yet another had his backpack pick-pocketed (he was on a train and while one person asked him for information, another opened his backpack and took his camera and laptop). But, I'm glad to hear that it didn't ruin your trip - you're right, it really is mind over matter.

  5. So sorry to hear about your break-in. What a rotten bit of luck. You have a wonderful attitude about it--no sense in letting this ruin a trip.

    Love the knot garden---I imagine that's a LOT of work.......

  6. How terrible to be robbed and also to have to go through all that hassle instead of seeing the gardens! I'm sure it was upsetting.

    The Austin rose garden must have been amazing with all those fragrances. All the gardens in the post looked so beautiful. Do those giant clipped topiaries at the Wightwich Garden have topiary men on top of them?

  7. So very sorry for the loss of your belongings and plans for Moseley Hall and for the terrible inconvenience to boot. I am reminded of the time I reported a similar incident to USAA ins. and the rep said, "Are you unharmed?" When I answered in the affirmative, she replied, "Then that is the important part; everything else can be replaced."
    I am glad you and David are unharmed.
    Thank you for the lovely photos of your trip.

  8. I'm reading your posts starting with the most recent and had caught a few hints of this smash-and-grab robbery, but it's even worse than I envisioned -- especially annoying to lose those plug adaptors, which I found were hard to come by once you leave the States, and of course the wedding clothes. Glad you didn't let the varmints ruin your holiday.