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L I V E 2 4 -SE V EN


THROUGH THE GA RDEN GAT E


CERNEY HOUSE GARDENS


This spring, our media horticulturalist, Camilla Bassett-Smith, heads to a Gloucestershire garden that is certain to captivate…


Following hot (or cold!) on the heels of their winter snowdrops, lies a cacophony of the most charming spring time chums ready to catapult Cerney House Gardens onto the desirable destination list of gardeners across the Cotswolds and beyond.


Cerney House dates back to around 1660, with later remodelling in the centuries following. It is an attractive property, almost like a perfect doll’s house and since 1983 has been in the hands of the Angus family, with the garden as you see it today being created over these last 30 plus years. Welcome to one of the most romantic, traditional English gardens that you could wish to see.


Lady Angus (who sadly passed away in 2016) and her daughter Barbara worked tirelessly to restore the garden to its Victorian glory from roses to fruit trees and


old brick walls to meandering pathways. Lady Angus was adamant that her garden continues to be shared with the public, and today her son Nicholas and his wife Janet remain faithful to this wish as they develop and care for their Cotswold gem.


Before we had even entered the garden, the use of an honesty box to take our entrance fee was the most refreshing and delightful welcome – a sign that this garden sings with the morals and honesty mostly associated with a bygone age. The same principle was also in place for refreshments – make your own cups of tea or coffee in the Bothy and help yourselves to biscuits. Glorious!


You’ll find the walled garden to be brimming with botanical delights, so many that I almost expected it to burst its bricks. A knot garden and scented garden sit alongside a lavender walk and fruit and vegetable area just waiting to shoot forth with produce for your plate (well for the Angus family plate actually). The vintage greenhouse is straight out of a Beatrix Potter story – I half expected Peter Rabbit himself to be leaning on a fork outside the front door, carrot in hand! A Laburnum arch also lies in wait to emit its golden glow on the ground below.


This spring however, it’s the bulbs that are stealing your attention. The white Narcissus ‘Thalia’ is a most sophisticated and subtle choice and paves the way for the commanding array of tulips that will be flowering over the coming weeks from ‘Spring Green’ to ‘Esther’. Iris reticulata can’t fail to make a statement – especially my favourite ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ and perfect purple Crocus are in full seasonal song. To


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