A Visit to Barnsley House

I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to visit this garden for, especially as it’s practically on my doorstep, but I’ve never really had a reason to go until the GMG organised a visit earlier this month. Barnsley House is a beautiful stone hotel & spa set in a small Cotswold village just past Bibury. The house was built in the late 1690’s.

In 1939 Barnsley House was purchased by Cecil and Linda Verey who passed it onto their son David, an architectural historian. David was married to Rosemary Verey and together they constructed a garden through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. In 1962 David brought the Temple from Fairford Park to be situated in the gardens. Rosemary Verey went on to become a noted garden designer, designing gardens for celebrities and royals alike.

We were shown round by head gardener Richard Gatenby who works extremely hard with his team to keep the gardens looking immaculate. If you haven’t been can I suggest a visit for Afternoon Tea! If you want to read more have a look at Richard’s blog here.

We started off in the Rose Garden which is the garden with the pond and the temple, separated from the rest of the garden by the most beautiful ornamental iron gates festooned with Clematis. Moving through the garden there is a beautiful combination of formal and informal. Topiary with borders of roses, lupins and foxgloves. An archway of pleached trees leads the eye to the temple and away to a beautiful water feature. Over the other side of the track there is the kitchen garden where they grow lots of fresh ingredients for the hotel to use in the kitchen. There are lots of little elements of surprise which is what I really love in a garden.

The Rose Garden, Barnsley House


Barnsley House, Cotswolds

Water Feature Barnsley House

Barnsley House

Mixed borders, Barnsley House

Cotswold Garden

Rosemary Verey

Scarecrow Barnsley House

Ascot Spring Garden Show

My garden photography got off to somewhat of a slow start this year due to a very cold, miserable and pretty non existent Spring. Whilst keeping warm inside I read that Ascot were having an inaugural Spring Garden Show which I definitely knew I wanted to check out.

I arrived there on a pretty grey Thursday afternoon to see what was going on and was pleasantly surprised at what I was greeted with. It is a beautifully intimate show, still with a selection of gorgeous show gardens but easily accessible and not a large as some other flower shows. There’s a theatre with a talk timetable from the likes of David Dominey and Simon Lycett and plenty stands where you can indulge in a little shopping.

The show gardens were really varied and designed by some talented high end garden designers. I had such a fantastic time photographing them and chatting with the designers. First up was this geometric inspired garden by Tom Hill Garden Design. I loved his use of colour and form and the copper elements he brought into it.

En Pointe – Tom Hill Garden Design

Ascot Spring Garden Show Tom Hill

A Garden for All Seasons – Kate Gould

The garden was designed in two separate areas with a section for dining and entertaining and a section for relaxing. The planting was a colourful mix of oranges, blues and greens set off against the rusted metal.

Ascot Spring Garden Show Kate Gould

The Landform Spring Garden – Catherine MacDonald of Landform Consultants

I love the simple Spring colour scheme of the planting keeping to yellows and whites and incorporating a lawn and contemplation area. I’d say this was a nice garden to reproduce in your own back yard, whatever the size.

Ascot Spring Garden Show Landform Spring Garden

The Courtyard – Joe Perkins

A sunken seating area with tall hedging and beautiful planting gives this a reel feel of privacy and it also has a Mediterranean feel with the terracotta pots and water feature at one end.

Ascot Spring Garden Show The Courtyard

What Lies Beneath by Claudia de Jong & Phil Tremayne

Beautiful planting from Claudia combining an eating area, arbour and the cutest shed you’ve ever seen.

Ascot Spring Garden Show What Lies Beneath

Yardley Flower Garden – Pip Probert, Outer Spaces Design Ltd.

I love the sound of water in a garden so these beautiful water features really did it for me. I also loved the stonework and the variety of plants used which really popped against the grey and white of the walls.

Ascot Spring Garden Show Yardley Flower Garden

Looking forward to returning next year to see some new gorgeous gardens on display.