Ode to an English Garden

English Country Gardens

I wanted to create a post purely dedicated to the English Country Garden in early Summer. I’ve come to feel that it is one of the most delightful spectacles available. And while we might lament all this rain, its worth remembering, that without this rainy climate, our gardens wouldn’t look as wonderful.

Canal facing front garden in Bath.

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My Parents’ Oxfordshire Garden

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Bampton Village Open Garden Day

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Having no garden of our own currently, we have to live through others. But thankfully there are plenty of opportunities for this in Oxfordshire. There are wonderful national trust properties like Grey’s Court and Hidcote – see my previous post on this – Open Garden schemes, both village planned and with the National Open Garden scheme.

Which gardens would you recommend in the Oxfordshire area?

Where To See Bluebells in Oxfordshire

Top spots for seeing Bluebells in Oxfordshire

Thinking of getting out and about to see some Bluebells this Bank Holiday? Carpets of Bluebells are one of England’s treasures, and I’ve got two top spots in Oxfordshire to share with you. They’re at opposite ends of the county so hopefully there’s one that will be in good reach for you.

Badbury Clumps

Officially named Badbury Hill, but the locals call it Badbury Clumps. It has an iron age hill fort hidden amongst beech tress, as well as beautiful views across the Thames basin. In late April and early May the beech trees contain a hidden treasure – a carpet of Bluebells. Click the image below to find out more about Badbury Clumps and how to get there.

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Greys Court

At the other end of the county, near Henley lies Greys Court. I’ve done a blog post about it’s wonderful gardens, click here to view. But it’s Bluebell wood deserves a post all of it’s own. Perhaps even more spectacular than Badbury Clumps, hidden below the carpark and accessed from a field with sweeping Oxfordshire views, these Bluebells are one of the county’s hidden gems.

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Click the image below to find out more about visiting Greys Court

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And don’t forget to find me on Instagram for regular country living Posts.

OCL

Where To Go To See Spring In Full Bloom

Greys Court – A Fairy Tale Garden.

Spring is my absolute favourite season. It’s the most joyful thing in the world to see blossoms and blooms after months of barren cold landscape. Seeing life come back to the countryside and hearing the birds sing again is an incredibly uplifting experience and one of the best places to experience this, is in an English country garden.

One of Oxfordshire’s gems is Greys Court. Greys combines the fairy tale ruins of a 14th Century medieval tower with a 16th century manor and walled gardens. The gardens are a series of compartmentalised sections, accessed through wooden gates, and secret archways each leading to a new and beautiful zone.

In April the trees are in blossom and the daffodils nod happily in the breeze, in the centre of the gardens is a small orchard and meadow with views back to the medieval tower. One of the most quintessentially English scenes you’ll ever see.

Most spectacular of all is the Bluebell display which bursts into life late April, early May. Its the most vivid display I’ve ever seen, and well worth an annual pilgrimage to revel in their beauty.

If you time it right, the 100+ year old Wisteria will have bloomed as well, making a canopy of lilac. Grey’s court is truly a location fit for a fairy tale.

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To find out more about Greys Court, click the image below. Have you been before? Share your experience in a comment.
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And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for regular country living posts

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Early Spring Flowers

What grows in early Spring?

It’s not too early to begin visiting England’s many Gardens, or indeed, making the most of your own. I think many people write off February as still being part of Winter, but there are actually many woodland flowers which will emerge in February, bringing colour and hope to any garden. Winter Aconites are among the first, and Snowdrops and Hellebore will soon follow along with cyclamen.

Hellebores are some of my favourite flowers, they come in a whole range of colours, but these below are by far the prettiest I’ve seen.

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And Cyclamen will add a splash of colour to carpet a shady area. They also come in delicate pinks and whites, but these ones really pack a punch.

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What do you have growing in your garden at this time of year?