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April 12, 2014

Rodmarton Manor Garden

The our second day of the tour we will be visiting Rodmarton Manor. Rodmarton was built in the true essence of the Arts & Crafts movement as it was happening in 1909. Centrally located in the Cotswold and ground zero for the movement, this garden will show you a good foundation for all Arts & Crafts gardens later in the tour. Those gardens: Hidcote, East Lambrook Manor, Hestercombe, The Courts, & Tintinhull; all are rooted in what we see at Rodmarton and possess different merits to attain our tour.

Author and British garden historian Tim Richardson wrote a good article for The Telegraph about Rodmarton.

"Rodmarton’s garden was the real thing at the time and remains so today. A visit to this garden can give you an authentic savour of what Arts and Crafts meant to those disciples of William Morris who practised their crafts so assiduously and passionately in the first decades of the 20th century." -- Tim Richardson via The Telegraph

Authenticity sums up this experience. It was built at the the right time in the right place to be the quintessential Art & Crafts Manor and Garden.

"Ernest Barnsley and the Cotswold group of Craftsmen, who built and furnished the house for Claud and Margaret Biddulph, beginning in 1909, were responsible for the revival of many traditional crafts in the Cotswolds which were in danger of dying out. Over the 20 years that it took to build the house many people were involved in building, woodwork, metalwork, needlework, painting, gardening, all done to a very high standard." -- Rodmarton Website

And of course herbaceous borders as a garden episode became famously English in this period. With the likes of Gertrude Jekyll and all new plants from abroad now accessible to the British, this is when it starts to look grand.

"This leads to the outstanding herbaceous borders, one of the best that you will find in Southern England. The path takes you to a charming summer house which looks back towards the manor house. The atmosphere of the garden is superb with many different vistas and plenty of places to sit and take it all in." -- Great British Gardens website

I'm extremely excited to see this garden and house. We have booked a private tour of the garden with the current owner's father. As I understand it, this garden as remained in the same family since it was created. This seems to be an important factor as to retaining its authenticity.

"An Arts and Crafts Cotswold house (1909). The garden would have served as an illustration to Reginald Blomfield's Formal Garden in England. The hedges, topiary and pleached limes from garden rooms. There are herbaceous borders and 'cottage garden' planting." -- Garden Visit website

We have two spots remaining on our tour July 11-18th 2014. Click here for the itinerary.

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