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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
I enjoyed the tour very much – glad you had such a lovely day for visiting this delightful garden.
Thank you Mary.
Olive Simpson said:
What a gorgeous place! I would love to have a green roof here (it’s flat and would be ideal) but as it’s communal property I would be in trouble if anything went wrong… And I’m with you on being wary of indoor dining.
You’d be the first in trouble if anything went wrong!
A fascinating look round a beautiful garden. Thanks for providing the tour.
The fine weather added to the pleasure.
A very nice garden and a lovely map. I like a good map almost as much as a good garden.
I’m with you there!
Merci pour cette belle et tranquille balade.
Il y aura bien encore de belles journées d’automne, où photographier des feuillages. Dans des jardins gardés ou non par des crocodiles !
It will all depend whether there are any more local gardens open under the NGS scheme. These are private gardens opened by their owners in order to raise money for charities. They have to be approved by the central NGS people – and I understand that they set very tough high criteria. Even though the owners are doing the public and the charities a great favour, it is seen as a great honour to be accepted!
Alors, j’espère qu’il en restera d’ouverts dans ton rayon de découverte.
You do find the most interesting places to explore ! Thanks for always taking the time to share with those of us who are less adventurous.
Thanks Hazel. You live in a pretty beautiful area yourselves!
Robert Key said:
How extraordinary! My uncle lived here for many years in his retirement as tenant of a wing of the house, which was owned by old friends of his! He shared responsibility for keeping up the garden – which he much enjoyed. Sue and I visited him here several times. This was my uncle O.J. Key, who, like me, had been a Master at Harrow School a generation before. When I turned up for my first term as a Harrow Beak, I was allocated a Form Room – which was the very one my uncle had taught in in the 1930’s. During WW2 he was in the RAF. Afterwards he became a Local Government Education Officer, first in Leicestershire, then as Assistant Ed Officer for Hampshire. In his declining years he moved from Coleford House to South Devon.
Politics gets worse and worse. I have a feeling BoJo will be ousted by Christmas. Too much whispering in the Conservative Parliamentary Party that he is out of his depth, HMG is in chaos, and that he is a sick man. We’ll see.
If my Party cannot pull itself together, we’ll need a major realignment of British Politics. Mind you, I’ve just had two weeks in the north of Scotland. Ms Sturgeon is in trouble from Alex S and others. Orkney (where I was) and Shetland Councils have said that if the SNP votes for independence, they will demand independence from Scotland!
Love from Rob.
Robert Key FSA 4 Old Street Salisbury SP2 8JL
What an extraordinary co-incidence, and what a lovely place for you to visit! May you be right on the political aspect, and may we get the right PM afterwards!
Lavinia Ross said:
I enjoyed the tour! The crocodile on the tennis court was an interesting and unusual find, too.
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A first for me!
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