Friday Scout

Pattern by artist Katie Scott

It’s a nail in London’s coffin when gardens are covered over, a comment piece on the Guardian.  Concreted gardens make me very sad indeed.

A visit to Great Dixter on Gardenista and another featuring the products made by the on-site woodsman

An interesting piece by Tim Richardson on modernising the National Trust’s gardens

This is Your Kingdom, the online guide for lovely things to do in the UK, has had a redesign

More recommendations for snowdrop sightings, this time from the Country Living Magazine team

The Best of British Gardens in February, on the Galloping Gardener

Beautiful floral design for this contemporary wedding by Leafy Couture


Coleton Fishacre: A Coastal Devon Garden

A visit to Coleton Fishacre felt like a proper summer holiday escape (you know, after all that rain).  We had day tripped from Chard, in Somerset, slowly down the east Devon coast. We stopped off in Dawlish, but so deeply unimpressed by the beach we didn’t bother to stop in at Torquay or Teignmouth, expecting much of the same.  Thank god for Coleton Fishacre, what a absolutely beautiful spot.

It is a National Trust property near Dartmouth, with gardens that meander their way down a valley towards the coast.  The house is fascinating and not your usual National Trust fodder: it was built by Rupert D’Oyly Carte, of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which performed and promoted Gilbert and Sullivan’s works for over a century.  The house is built in an Arts & Crafts style, with amazing art deco furnishings (which I love) but unfortunately no photos are allowed in the house so you will just have to go and see for yourself!  The gardens were lovely of course, and the views out to sea were so beautiful on a sunny day.

If you are going I would definitely recommend some sensible walking shoes as there looks to be a really good track which we couldn’t really explore as I was wearing simple flats and it was quite muddy from all the rain. The garden itself is paved so no issues there, however the walk does look good if you don’t mind steep hills!

Kitchen Garden at Barrington Court in Somerset

I love kitchen gardens. Especially walled kitchen gardens, so it was a treat to see this one at Barrington Court, looking so great despite the dismal weather.  The garden supplies both the cafe and Strode Restaurant at the National Trust owned property. Above is a charming gate which leads from the house gardens to the kitchen garden.

Barrington Court: a National Trust property in Somerset

On a very wet day at the beginning of our Somerset trip, we visited Barrington Court following lunch at a the Dinnington Docks pub. It is a National Trust property, I think one of the first acquired by the NT. The house is Tudor and was restored by the Lyle family (of Tate & Lyle) in the 1920s and Gertrude Jekyll advised the family on the garden design.

We were lucky as it was the last day of Antony Gormley’s famous installation Field for the British Isles, which was arranged over three separate rooms on the ground floor. I did a BFA in Sculpture and have seen many images of this art work in books so it was really nice to see a version in person.

The photos here were taken on my iphone so the quality is not the best, but I am pretty happy with them considering the conditions.  My photographs of the kitchen garden (ooh, I love a kitchen garden) will follow in another post.