HORTUS ON TOUR - IFORD MANOR
Yesterday the garden hung with mist all day. When faced with all that cold and dank decay, who wouldn't dream of Italian Summer skies, baking pavements, the scent of woody herbs and maybe a column or two? Well, your wish is my command. We will leave the dreary British Winter behind for now, and journey to warmer climes as we visit Iford Manor, near Bath, on an August afternoon.
I love this garden, and would have made it the subject of a Six on Saturday back in the Summer, if a voice hadn't whispered in my ear - 'save it for one of those Winter weeks when nothing is happening in your garden'.
|Phlox, Clematis and billowing Russian Sage|
Tiny bit of background info for those who are interested. The garden was designed by Harold Peto, the Edwardian architect, for his own house He believed that a good garden should have a perfect balance between architectural elements and planting. So he collected original Italian sculptures from many periods and incorporated them in the loggias and terraces with which he decorated this hillside garden.
In recent years the garden had became a sleeping beauty, but a renewed enthusiasm for sharing it with visitors has meant it is open more often, the built elements have been restored and the planting has received the ministrations of Troy Scot Smith no less, during a recent sabbatical from Sissinghurst.
The main axis of the garden runs along this formal terrace. To the left the tree covered hillside climbs away. To the right the colonnade frames views of the sloping grassy Georgian garden that was original to the house.
The standard wisteria in the left foreground is one of many in the garden. The planting on the terrace was mainly in quiet purples and misty blues.
A little Georgian Summer house forms a focal point at the end of the terrace, which is ornamented with Roman sarcophagi and a copy of the bronze wolf with Romulus and Remus.
The view at the other end is framed by columns and a curved bench. A Byzantine well head and Roman column fill the apse of this 'outdoor basilica'.