Monday, 23 May 2016

A Taste of Italy

Hello! This is a post which I wrote last summer and for some reason didn't get around to posting. Now seems like a good time because the gardening year is well underway and the Chelsea Flower Show is on, so I would like to show you a wonderful garden which P and I discovered last August. I can recommend a visit and I think that perhaps we'll head back there this year too. It's quite a photo-heavy post, so make yourself a cup of tea, pull up a chair and enjoy a taste of sunnier climes.


Aaah, the musical tinkle of graceful water features, the cool shade of pergolas and loggias, tall cypress trees and classical statues. You could be forgiven for thinking that we'd managed a weekend away in Italy, but in fact we were just a few miles outside of Bath at Iford Manor.

It's an Italianate garden designed by Harold Peto over 100 years ago which is set into the hillside behind a beautiful Neo-Classical house. We visited on a hot, bright day and it was indeed a little piece of heaven.

There were graceful statues around every corner.

and softly-running water flowing into deep pools.

As we walked up the steep hillside, the Cloisters offered some cool shade on a hot day.

The garden is on quite an incline and steps wound out of sight around every corner.

Figs were ripening in the hot sunshine,

and topiary shapes made an impact.

Along a colonnade were statues of little dogs.

For a moment we left Italy behind and entered the Oriental garden, a haven of cool green reflections.

Back to the formal colonnades and clipped hedges which lent an air of order.

Down another terrace, and we were flanked by billowing beds of catmint and eryngium.


I caught this butterfly at just the right moment - I think it's my favourite photo of last year.

These blue-green poppy seed heads looked perfect against the purple salvia.

A dark, wine-red sedum. 

I loved this hot pink clematis scrambling up stone columns.

There were pretty little geraniums,

frothy erigeron

and dark purple petunias.

A cool, shady little garden rather like an outdoor room.

I loved the wonderful roses trailing up and over arches and up walls.

Soon we had reached the bottom of the terraces and were near the house again.

Citrus fruits were enjoying the heat of the sun,

as was the fragrant nicotiana.

The planting was so pretty.

We finished our visit with lemon and lavender cake and Earl Grey tea in the little cafe - perfect.

As we left we walked across the pretty little bridge which crosses the river in front of the house.

It really had been a fabulous afternoon. I felt as if I'd been away on holiday, but we were home within 30 minutes.

I'm glad you could come along with me. See you soon x.


  1. I'm always on the lookout for gardens to visit with my friend, S. She lives in Exeter, so Bath is about half way between us and that garden looks a corker! Is it an NT property? xx

    1. No, it's not NT and it's only open in afternoons (not Mondays I think, and the tearoom's only open at weekends). It's near to Bradford-on-Avon. Hope you get the chance to visit it - I'm sure you'd like it.
      Cathy x

  2. This looks like my kind of trip! Those poppy heads look brilliant amongst all the beautiful flowers. x

  3. Gorgeous photos - and a garden to die for! Beautiful :)

  4. I've been three times in the UK but never visited a garden among the decades of gorgeous public gardens existing in the surroundings of palaces or other... Thanks for letting us tag along, it was wonderful!

  5. How beautiful! You made me yearn for summer. Such an Italian garden - I loved the statues and all the plants :) xx

  6. I so enjoyed this tour! What a lovely garden. I rely on my blogging friends to show me places I may never visit myself :-)

  7. wow your post is so nice ,my dream is visit Italy once in a life and my hubby promised me we will visit definitely,pics are amazing thanks for sharing


Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I don't always get time to reply, but I look forward to and love to read your comments - they really do make my day x