May 292015


I know I’ve talked about Bradford on Avon several times before, but I’m about to do it again. We had a wander around there last weekend, and the two rows of houses above the Newtown area, Tory and Middle Rank, were looking as gorgeous as ever. Their main gardens are across the footpath, but most houses have planting outside too. Everything seemed way ahead of my own garden, presumably because the houses face south and are in a sheltered spot. Christian’s garden there is tiny, but for a small moment I could see us living there, instead of at my house, enjoying the pleasant lack of wind. But what would we do without any gardening to do? I’m not sure I can imagine it…

It’s the Bradford on Avon Secret Gardens Festival on Sunday, and it is well worth a visit – there are clearly many green-fingered types in the town. I’m not sure if any gardens in Tory or Middle Rank are taking part, but you’ll see plenty if you just wander up there – and the view is spectacular, too.


Dec 152013


I’ve been pondering what to plant around my front door, and had been thinking of one climber, maybe two. But then I saw this house and realised that I need to be more imaginative than that.

There are least three climbers here – a passionflower, a cup-and-saucer plant (Cobaea scandens) and a wisteria – all still looking good in early December. The dark-leaved plants complement the yellow grasses and the yellowing wisteria. The dark pots complement the black surround of the door. It’s all very well thought out.

As so often happens with this blog, the owner came home just as I was admiring her handiwork. I got the impression she was used to her house attracting attention and said it’s going to appear on the front of the 2014 Bradford-on-Avon calendar.

The house is part of three terraced streets on a hillside overlooking the town. They’re a mix of weavers’ cottages and merchants’ houses, built from the 17th century onwards. Each house has a small, south-facing garden on the other side of the pavement. It was practically dark when I visited but they all looked really different – everyone had dealt with the slope in a different way, and had come up with ways of creating privacy (lots of walkers and tourists use the path). As luck would have it, some of them will be open for Secret gardens festival in Bradford-on-Avon next year, which is a nosey blogger’s dream. I’ll be first in the queue.

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