You might know what a huge fan I am of the National Garden Scheme where anyone can simply pitch up at any of the 3500 or so private gardens in England and Wales which open annually.
Today, pootling back from a wonderful trip to visit my cousin in Powys (and via Baileys Home, where I am always amazed at just how enticing wooden dolly pegs and balls of string can look and where I dare you to escape without spending a small fortune on things you probably had no idea you needed) I managed to catch Jinny Blom’s garden at Temple Guiting Manor. Oh what a delight! What an exquisite selection of plants! What a gorgeous setting! And how kind of the owner to allow us mortals to traipse about, taking photos and seeing whether we can reproduce such wonders in our own gardens.
Jinny Blom worked on the garden design at Temple Guiting Manor for over a decade, starting in 2001 and describes it as, “one of the happiest projects I have had the pleasure to work on”. I have long been a fan, and can’t recommend her book, “The Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach To Garden Design” highly enough.
The Windrush Valley is a beautiful neck of the UK woods, and the site of the Grade I listed manor house is mentioned in the Domesday Book. As you will see below, the stone there is that warm end of the Cotswold spectrum – much prettier than than the greyer colour you find further south. Temple Guiting itself is charming: wooded, windy lanes, wild hedgerows. The manor is now a collection of beautifully restored barns and outhouses, all surrounded and encompassing Jinny Blom’s understated, edited and curated palette of suitable planting. If you are in the area, the owner has bought the converted village post office, just a short walk from his estate: Temple Guiting Pantry is worth a visit if you are after a charming spot for lunch and a small selection of goodies and local produce.
The weather was rather grey (June has so far been cold and drizzly with the occasional burst of biblical rain, which we need after such a dry winter) so my photos don’t do the garden and the subtle colours much justice. My take-away plant (not literally, but I have bought three packets of seed since returning to Bee HQ) is Valeriana officinalis which was everywhere and obviously self-seeds anywhere you might want it.
I will leave the photos to speak for themselves. Definitely a garden to put on your list if it is open again next year and the venue is available to hire for weddings.
Annie Bee xxx