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On Saturday, I realised that I had not been further than my garden for a whole week. The weather was forecast to be lovely on Sunday, so I looked for an NGS garden which would be open, with not too far to drive. (I feel so guilty environmentally if I have to drive more than an hour each way.) I found Coleford House, about 35 minutes away, in the eastern Mendip Hills. As it happened I was singing (in my garden, socially distanced), with three friends on Monday, two of whom knew or had known the previous owners. These had moved out in 1999.

I parked my car at 11.00 in the designated field down the road, and walked a couple of hundred yards to the house.

Met and greeted at the door of the Studio,

I was handed this map, prepared by an artist friend, not credited, of the family. (Some of her work was on sale.) I have added the swimming pool and the tennis court, not marked officially.

This is part of Coleford House.

Round in the herb garden:

Past the cottage into the walled garden,

where there were refreshments to be had in the orangery, though I didn’t partake. I had just had coffee in the car, and also I’m still being very wary about unnecessary people proximity, particularly going indoors.

I did let my camera zoom in approvingly for me on the green roof.

I was intrigued by the bat house. I tried to duck in under the roof, but soon withdrew. It was boarded in at lower than my height. On the roof outside I could see a couple of entrances for flying creatures.

The orchard

Over the other side of the orchard bridge was the kiln, but there were too many people there (more than in this picture), for me to think of joining them.

However, it soon thinned out, and it is very difficult to resist going over a bridge.

A delightfully curious kiln

was accompanied by a more conventional one.

Talking of convention, whoever heard of a crocodile defending a tennis court?

For the avoidance of doubt, the tail is on the left, a (sculpted) tennis ball keeping the creature’s mouth closed.
Very neat wildflower panels

A sneak look at the swimming pool,

and a walk along what is called the river with no name on the plan, but which my OS map clearly labels, if I’m reading it correctly, the Mells Stream.

The pretty garden bridge was not for crossing,

not even for closer examination of the weir.

The lily pond
Looking over towards the house, with part of Coleford village in the background. (Not to be confused with the town of Coleford in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.)

I did wonder whether I was missing out on something at the cottage, perhaps some info from an owner of the House. But then when I saw one out of and one in the door on the right, I realised what it was being used for.

Magnificent walnut and tulip trees dwarfing the house.

Wandering on, I looked back along the river, and made my way back to the entrance, looking down at my feet by the copper beech.

Out on to the road and back to my car, by way of a road bridge.

I’m wondering whether there will be another garden visit this year?