The lanes leading to Iford Manor are very narrow, with few passing points, and I was less than impressed with two drivers who insisted I reverse to a passing point, when in fact theirs was far closer behind them. However I didn't let this rattle me, and was pleased that I coped well.
Even before we arrived at the payment desk, we knew we were going to love this garden. In May the Wisteria must be magnificent when in full bloom, but just now, it was the huge gnarly trunk which caught our attention.
Close by the front of the house, with leaves showing the first signs of Autumn, was a lovely specimen of Hydrangea quercifolia Snowflake. It was in full sun.
With interesting formation, it has large blooms which start off white and fade to pink. We saw several examples dotted around the gardens. I'll be on the lookout for this one!
As Italianate gardens go, I have visited many in Italy, and this one is a peach of a garden. With little touches like the rose in hip allowed to grace one side of a sarcophagus.
The garden buildings are beautifully position, with views from paths, hedges and shrubs cut at angles.
The fall of light, and shade cast added a visual dimension which on this sunny day certainly gave the feeling of being in Italy.
Close clipped box, yew, trailing rosemary plants, and geraniums were repeated to both catch ones eye and also lead it to distant views, or to the bronzes and sculptures dotted around the garden.
Emerging between creeping ivy, or tucked amongst ferns in shady places, the first cyclamens were emerging.
After our walk around the gardens, we spread blankets in the shade by the River, and enjoyed our lunch. No outing would be complete without a trip to a nearby Plant Nursery. We spent some time looking round Downside Nurseries, with each of us bring home one plant. I bought white flowered Fuchsia Hawkshead. On our way home we drove through the pretty village of Freshford.