William, the owner of Iford Manor welcomed us with an overview of its history and Harold Peto’s transformation of this secluded Wiltshire valley to his vision of an Italian garden – with a Japanese portion.
Troy, recently appointed as head gardener, led us through the Walled Garden, not generally open to the public, giving his insights on the history and planting with knowledge and enthusiasm.
The terraces of the main garden are where Peto’s love of Italy is particularly evident, emphasised by his huge collection of artefacts including the Romanesque cloister – now a venue for summer concerts. Our visit finished in the newly opened cafe superbly converted from old stone outbuildings.
We thanked our lucky stars for the fine weather and Tim the driver for negotiating the steep, narrow and torturous access drive with calm fortitude.
As we departed for Bridport we heard people saying “what a magical place” – a wonderful way to restart the calendar of outings.
Please join us for our visit to Oudolf’s field in September.
Sibyl and Tim Gale
The following Photos were taken by Susan Solomon
The following photos were taken by Tim Gale