Road Trip to the English Countryside

I discovered my inner Anglophile shortly after college while studying garden design and history at the University of Manchester. England felt like a home away from home for me and I don’t think there was a more ideal place in the world for me to hone my landscape design skills.

I recently returned to England on a tour of houses and gardens. While I started in Cheshire for a stay with my friends at Arley Hall, the majority of my visits were made in Norfolk and Suffolk. There was so much to take in and discover. I certainly came home with more than enough material to share with you on my blog. Over the next few months I’ll post a series of installments about my trip. This first one gives the 30,000 foot view.

Arley Hall, Cheshire. A favorite haunt of mine as a student in England. Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook wrote the forward to my 1st book, Garden Home.

Roses and lavender are a classic. Arley Hall gardens.

Arley Hall walled garden. Catmint, 'Halcyon' hosta  and 'Rosemary Rose' roses.

The herb garden at Arley Hall. Lady Ashbrook designed this years ago.

Themed gardens! This one is for golden plants. Very striking! Next to this garden room was one done in silver foliage.

'Fire and Water' fountain at Houghton Hall. David Cholmondeley has done great things with the garden in the past 10 years.

The Mediterranean garden at Houghton Hall. Note the 'bullnose' boxwood border around the raised pool. Brilliant! Love the potted agaves too.

Catmint 'Six Hills Giant' framing the view to the glass house at Houghton Hall.

My friend Xa Tollemache and Carla Carlisle at Lady Carlisle's home Wyken Hall. They are standing behind the Cornstalk Gates. Love it!

Silver parterre at Wyken.

Guinea fowl on the lawn at Wyken. Carla loves poultry!

Wyken Hall. Love the color!

Gifford's Hall. So attractive. David Hicks did the interior design back in the '70s & it still looks great! So hip!

Helmingham Hall was built in 1510. It's completely moated & the drawbridge comes up every night.

Helmingham is so majestic! I love the punctuation & rhythm of the boxwoods along the moat.

One of Xa's beautiful designs at Helmingham.

Columbine Hall and its moat.

The kitchen at Columbine. So charming!

Columbine's dinning room. I was so taken by the generous fireplace.




38 Responses to Road Trip to the English Countryside

  1. Jeff says:

    I’m jealous. I have been wanting to tour the gardens in England for years. This has inspired me to start planning now. Thanks!

  2. Lovely share, some of those pictures remind me of garden rooms at your Moss Mountain Garden Home simply beautiful Paul <|;-)

  3. Kathy says:

    Thank you for the incredible share! Each garden was a delight. I hope to return to England one day to tour the gardens and am looking forward more of your posts :-)

  4. Sherry Case says:

    Thank you! Several years ago, I made a trip to England. We were in the East Midland’s area and the gardens were breathtaking. When we returned, I began my attempts at cottage gardening. I am still at it. Adding , moving, and enjoying my little piece of the realm!

  5. Sandy Mitchell says:

    Thank you for the pictures. If I can’t go seeing your beautiful pictures is the next best thing.

  6. Kathleen S. Eckler says:

    Loved your tour of England. I have been attempting to make my beds look more like cottage gardening. They seem to be so much more relaxing to look at.

  7. Lisa L. says:

    What beautiful places you were able to visit! England is on my “someday” destination list. I look foward to your upcoming blogs. I love to hear about other people’s travels to the countries I am interested in.

  8. Phyllis Lane says:

    Thank you so much for sending this to me!

  9. Gale Vargo says:

    Loved all the gardens but was facinated at the moats and that very special kitchen and Fireplace. I am a history lover and have been to many U.S. historical sites. All have those fabulous fireplaces. Thanks for sharing and look forward to seeing more.

  10. Kirstin Schuyler says:

    How would one go about creating an English Garden Tour? What guidelines does Allen use…aside from his many personal connections in England. Allen, perhaps you would share your favorite areas of England and tips on planning. Merci!

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