The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Mary Keen's Garden

Yesterday was a warm and sunny day, just right for visiting gardens and one of my  favourite gardens happened to have an open day in aid of charity.  It is in a magical valley in the Cotswolds in the tiny village of  Dundisbourne Rouse not far from Cirencester.

This is the Old Rectory- it doesn't lean it's my photography!
Lady Mary Keen is a garden guru of long standing. She has written many books, one of which describes how she designed this particular garden after buying the house and clearing the site.

It couldn't have been an easy process because the garden slopes quite steeply in places but it has the most wonderful atmosphere and though it looks artless, it has strongly designed bones supporting the abundant colourful planting.

St Michael's Church which dates from 11th or early 12th century, adjoins the garden of the Rectory
Inside the little School  House which once belonged to the Church.  This is now a  Garden Room with facilities for garden visitors to make a cup of tea and enjoy reading about the garden - it is a delight!
A view of the former School House across the Olympic Flower Meadow
This wild flower meadow was planted with a mix of Sarah Raven's flower meadow seeds which
are planted at the Olympic Park.
Another view of the School House

You can see from the green lushness in these pictures that we have had a tremendous amount of rain but at last the sun is shining so hopefully there will be more flowering and less foliage.

Do hope that these pictures give you a flavour of a wonderful English garden.  I came away inspired and replete with scones and cream served at the lovely old kitchen table facing a very interesting china filled dresser.  I would have loved to have taken a picture but I felt that it would have been an invasion of privacy.


Karmen said...

Such a lovely tour! Thanks for treating us to it. Karmen

mamifleur said...

Thank you Mary, that walk in the English garden was wonderful!
Friendship. Mamifleur

Anonymous said...

What a charming garden! I love the juxtaposition of wildflower meadows against structured hedges and topiary. The soft English light is perfect for garden photography as well (Australian sunlight is often too bright for nice photographs!) Thanks for a lovely tour.

Sue said...

I visited Mary's garden the very first year it was open but haven 't been for years. It's only about 10 miles from here so must put it on my to do list as it looks like it has really matured.

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

Glorious garden! I do so wish I could have stepped into your beautiful photos and visited them in person!

Annabelle said...

I so love this wonderful house and garden - the little place for tea and a rest complete with garden books is a total delight.

Gill said...

I visited Mary's garden a few years ago and loved it!!

Vivienne at Vivebooks said...

Thank you Mary. I so enjoyed this post - transported me to that gorgeous garden. V x

Nell said...

Mary Keen's Creating a Garden is a book I've spent so much time with that I feel as if I've been in this garden -- so this post is a wonderful chance to "revisit" after decades of filling-out. Thank you!

Ben Pentreath just posted on a recent visit, with the news (to me) that the Keens are moving away from the Old Rectory soon. So your post is even more valuable; thanks again.