Thursday, 21 August 2014

A gentle return with soft English garden flowers

I seem to have been away from my blog for an inordinately long time - mostly holidaying where it's difficult to get a reliable internet connection and then looking after our 4 year old granddaughter who had come to stay with us on her own for the first time. This latter was a joy but with her craze for what she calls 'crafting' there was little or no time left for any sort of creative activity of my own ... but we did have fun!

I will try to post a couple of times over the next few days - and then, we're off again for a trip to the USA to visit friends and then on to the canyon country out west, ending up in the Grand Canyon.

Meanwhile for this first post, I'm including some photos taken yesterday, in the Rococo Garden, in Painswick, Gloucestershire. This is a lovely landscaped garden with hints of a life from the past - from the 1740s or thereabouts - a life of privilege and excess in a beautiful gentle English setting.

These photos also fit into the search for pink over on Julie's blog. I'm delighted to be able to take part ... it was a close run thing! I've therefore included 3 photos from our visit - all pink.

Since the 1980s, there has been a huge restoration of the garden following decades and decades of neglect. Much research recently has gone into the replanting which has been based on a painting done of the house and garden completed by Thomas Robins not long after the garden was first established in the 1750s.

Almost all the flowers and smaller plants have had to be replaced. To help authenticity, the modern gardeners have as far as possible used only species of plants that are known to have been in use in gardens before the 1750s. The result is a display of lovely gentle colour - far more subtle than much modern planting - and plants with a free-growing, natural habit.

The first photo above is of a delicious pink lacecap hydrangea at the start of our walk round the garden. The second is of a hollyhock in a gentle rosy pink. I have very fond memories of hollyhocks. My grandmother loved them and always had many growing in her garden when we used to visit.

The last is of an everlasting pea which was growing all over rabbit fencing round the small area of more formal herbaceous borders. The concession to a modern approach to gardening was very necessary and was cleverly masked throughout by rambling roses with a lovely rich scent, low growing espalier fruit trees and the everlasting peas that I've included here.

I was going to include some further (very, very pink) photos of my visit in July to Kaffe Fassett's exhibition in Aberdeen but the colours, though rich and wonderful, seemed somehow too brilliant and modern and to argue with the sense of peace I felt as I wandered around the garden.

... Perhaps in my next post.

... And now to see what all the wonderful bloggers I follow have been up to in my long absence ...




12 comments:

  1. je pense aussi d'avoir adopté le rose.. pour contrer le mauvais temps :)))

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    1. Ah le mauvais temps ... le soleil, la chaleur, l'été, où sont-ils allés? Toutes les fleurs, elles sont très encourageantes quand il fait mauvais temps.
      Par contre, mercredi prochain, nous nous échapperons aux États-Unis pour rendre visite aux amis de longue date et peut-être pour retrouver la chaleur ... (croisons les doits!)

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  2. Hi Margaret- So glad you're back in blogland...though it sounds as if you've had a wonderful summer! Love your gentle pinks...that garden sounds lovely.

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    1. It's good to be back, albeit fleetingly. We are indeed having a wonderful summer. The autumn is going to seem very tame by comparison!

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  3. I last visited this garden at snowdrop time - I must go again!!

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    1. And we must return at snowdrop time. By all accounts it's a wonderful display.

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  4. These examples of pink are breathtaking ... thank you for this photo treat! Good travels to you!

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    1. Thank you Mary Ann. It was a lovely natural garden which made the most of a beautifully hilly landscape. A great pleasure to visit.

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  5. I've been really enjoying everyone's PINK this month. We seem to have had a great deal of grey here lately and the luscious pinks remind me that summer is coming ...... yay.

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I've just left a comment on your beautiful blog, tracemarks. What a pleasure it was to find you again.

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  6. I love the variety of pinks you found at the garden, Margaret! It's nice to have a focus for photo-taking, and the ROY challenge certainly seems to be good for that.
    Enjoy your upcoming travels! (More inspiration forthcoming, I am sure...)

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    1. ROY certainly focuses the mind! I think we have brown later in the year. Our upcoming trip to the canyons of Utah and Arizona should offer lots of opportunity for that and much else besides, I'm sure.

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