Life in a slow place that quickly steals your heart.


English gardens

In an English Country Garden – and in mine

Surveying my Naramata garden

England’s Amberley Castle wildlife…

I love English country gardens and my own. Our English relatives John and Ann, indulging me in my passion, always plan a visit to extraordinary gardens when we come and spending time in their own lovely garden with its roses and pond is an enormous pleasure. I bring home inspiration, seeds, garden ornaments, pieces of flint and photos. Here are some of my favourites and how we’ve worked at Canadianizing them.

Amberley Castle tree fort


Naramata tree fort…called The Skyroom
Chartwell House
Former Calgary garden
My house…The Handyman built this round gate
Kent Castle falconry exhibit
Hunting free in my garden
Flower border I wish to copy
Naramata garden in the morning
English garden path
Naramata garden path
English roses
Naramata rose
IMG_4875 2.jpg
Admitting defeat… this just ain’t going to happen in Naramata

This bud’s for you


I was going to entitle my post, In an English Country Garden, but I gave that idea the boot. Garden writing can gush. It’s unrestrained, fulsome, lyrical, effusiveness can get pretty barfy. The photos don’t lie though. Visiting this 2.5 acre walled garden at Loseley Park in southern England is like thinking you have created a masterpiece in your yard (my Secret Garden) but realizing it’s only a poorly done paint-by-numbers…in acrylic.


The stark walls give no hint of what waits inside

The garden is divided into rooms: rose, flower, white, herb and organic vegetable garden. We timed our visit just right, by luck not good planning. Every single rose on every one of its 1,000 rose bushes was open. Stating fact here, not gushing.


The little shack you glimpse in the background is the Manor of Loseley built in the 16th century. It was bought by the Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex and has been in the More-Molyneux family for 500 years.


Phlomis Russelania (Turkish sage)

IMG_4846If it looks like the gardens were deserted, it’s because they pretty much were. We were at Loseley for a piano recital by British pianist Emilie Capulet and the garden was ours for an hour in the early evening sun, perfect for photography.


A bench in the white garden, scene of much wedding photography
Sense and Sensibility mini-series was filmed at Loseley Manor
The scent of the roses was heady…not being smarmy, again fact


This is the pub we stopped for a pint at on our way…The Crown Inn in Chiddingfold

IMG_4788…show, don’t gush…

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Here are a few more photos in slideshow format…some are of the grounds and manor house…

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If you go, Loseley Park is south of Guildford, 30 miles southwest of London. The grounds, garden, tearoom and shop are open between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays in the summer. The house opens for guided tours from June to August.

My favourite fellow-blogger, Tara Dillard, used some of my photos from this post to illustrate a key point about garden design. Here is a link to her blog using my photos.

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