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Travelling around this beautiful region of rolling hills and far-reaching views, interspersed with ochre-coloured manor houses and cottages, we visit a wealth of wonderful high-calibre gardens. Long traditions of craftsmanship are evident in the architecture and landscapes, as well as the planting. We have carefully selected some outstanding private gardens, including some not usually open to the public, and have arranged for exclusive access to those that are. **Please note:** This tour will start at 10:15 at the hotel for those wishing to drive, with a 10:30 pick-up at Moreton-in-Marsh railway station.
After giving up the ‘safe’ job to train as a garden designer, Marion cut her horticultural teeth at the fabulous Special Plants nursery run by Derry Watkins. Following this she completed an MA in Garden History at the University of Bristol with Professor Tim Mowl. The historical, architectural and garden knowledge gained from this course has informed, shaped and enriched Marion's work ever since.
As all of Marion's gardens are a work in progress, her learning and development continues and is enhanced by the people she meets through research, tours, talks and design work.
Stephen is the long-standing garden writer for the Times, as well as a lecturer and author. Trained originally in Drama and then Landscape Design, he worked in historic gardens where, latterly as National Gardens Manager for English Heritage, he was responsible for several major restoration projects. Discovering Welsh Gardens was published in 2009; his official biography Christopher Lloyd, His Life at Great Dixter appeared in March 2010 and Lives of the Great Gardeners in 2018. He now lives in the Black Mountains where he is making a large woodland garden.
To use our NEW itinerary, simply click a day below and a detailed overview will appear.
We travel to Broughton Grange, described as one of the most significant and scintillating gardens to be created in the past 25 years. The synthesis of work by the architect Ptolomy Dean and landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith is exhibited in an array of complementary features found in the exceptional walled garden with its water garden and generous borders. Lunch will be in a local inn before we visit Bourton House Garden, where we have exclusive access. We will have space to take in the detailed topiary, white garden, and pools, as well as the deep herbaceous borders which will be looking their finest at this time of the year. Filled with a combination of perennials, annuals, and exotics, there are always surprises to be found here. We then drive the short distance to the Manor House Hotel for time to settle before dining together.
Today we visit three gardens where women have had a firm hand in the design. At Rockcliffe, Emma Keswick has designed a series of considered ‘garden rooms’ with panache, all surrounding the nineteenth-century house. Form and structure are complemented by scented plants in the swimming pool garden while the walled kitchen garden exemplifies the Arts and Crafts principle of beauty and utility. Topiary birds lead the eye and the foot up through the orchard to an octagonal dovecote. At our second stop, Upton Wold Manor, we start with a special buffet lunch followed by a private visit to the gardens. Owners Caroline and Ian Bond commissioned Colvin and Moggridge to redesign the gardens, taking in the sweeping views and bordering the lawn with a yew tunnel. They have since spent the past 50 years enhancing the charming gardens, complete with deep curving herbaceous borders, a pool garden, a woodland garden, and vegetable gardens. Paths thread through wildflower meadows leading to an orchard and a national collection of walnuts. Our third garden visit is to Kiftsgate Court, built on the Cotswold escarpment with three steep banks falling away to far-reaching views west towards the Malvern Hills. This is a garden of great plant interest, where texture and colour are skilfully woven into sunken gardens and deep borders. This is the home of Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’, which clambers through the tall trees, and of the Chambers family, where Anne Chambers is the third generation to make her mark, adding a water garden, an orchard, and a mound. We return to the Manor House Hotel for dinner.
Our first visit today is to Bradley Court, where the gardens bear a strong resemblance to their layout depicted in an engraving from 1707. Our hosts have sensitively restored parts of this garden including a grotto and snail mound, whilst adding to the long herbaceous borders surrounding a charming summerhouse. An orchard, vegetable garden, and terraced gardens add to the historic appeal. Lunch is included today. A visit has been arranged this afternoon to a private garden of fine distinction. Return to the Manor House Hotel to dine together this evening.
On a plot of land in the settlement of Whiteway, a professional garden designer and her partner, who runs a business in specialist landscape materials have built their own ideal, sustainable home. Densely planted, colourful and productive, the garden centres around a large pond which, unusually, comes right up to the house and is a haven for wildlife. Today we visit their private garden. Our final visit is to the garden created by Nicholas and Mel Tanner over the past thirty years at The Coach House. We will be served lunch here, with time to take in all the intricate design elements which make up this garden of rooms. Features such as the lime allée, a rill and hidden paths lead the eye to focal points, and the planting is rich and creative, always enhanced by new additions from the rare plant fairs which are regularly held here. We return to Moreton-in-Marsh Railway Station for 15:30 and to the Manor House Hotel for 15:45.
An idyllic 16th-century manor house with 35 beautifully designed bedrooms, a 2 AA Rosette restaurant and bar with views overlooking the stunning gardens. Each room is individually styled with its own historic charm and character and features free Wi-Fi and en suite bathrooms.
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