Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Waterperry Gardens

Just over an hour away from London in the wilds of Oxfordshire, nestling comfortably in the curves of the River Thame are eight acres of  beautiful gardens that were established in the 1930s. Initially the gardens were opened as a residential horticultural college for women by the gold medal winning 'Strawberry Queen' of the Chelsea Flower Show and legendary English horticulturist Beatrix Havergal.

We popped along this summer and spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying the lovingly tended borders and formal gardens and now it's your turn. So come on ladies, pull up those breeches, tighten that belt, smarten up that tie and get your planting in line! Let's follow in the formidable and very wonderful footsteps of the tweed-smocked and knee high-socked Miss H as she does her strict morning garden inspections. 

No lollygagging at the back girls! Come along, horticulture has no place for stragglers, spit-spot!

Click to Enlarge
The marvellous Miss H is her infamous uniform of belted green smockage!

Nr. Wheatley
OX33 1JZ


  1. Hello, Paul! I just saw this post. Very nice gardens, and you mention the Thirties. What an era, what a fantastic time to be alive, it must have been!

    I can just imagine Miss H (is she actually a woman, or some kind of UFO?) in a silvery short skirt, strings of long necklaces, a beautiful hat, lovely shoes, cigarette and a glass of Champagne, doing the Charleston. Lesson of the week: give up smoking and drinking or you end up looking like Miss H!

    The gardens are absolutely stunning. I spotted a gorgeous Rosa Mundi, lots of lovely, brightly coloured lavender and that bench, so Art Deco is just beautiful!

    That bed of hostas I love... the Wisteria, cascading like purple rain makes me dream...

    Question: where did Miss H get the smock from?'cause I really want one! Is she wearing a man's suit underneath?

    Have a nice evening, Paul, and... if you are really magic... could you wave your magic wand and turn Miss H into a young Sophia Loren, so we may feast our eyes onto something as beautiful as a Rosa Mundi?



  2. PS: I clicked to enlarge Miss H, but... I'm afraid... no improvement. Delete my comments if you think she might read your blog. Sorry!

  3. Coming, my dear! Just another minute to enjoy the roses. Ahhhhh :)
    PS - Love that photo of Madam H!

  4. Are you serious? Is that really Miss H in that outfit? Her gardens are gorgeous. Those roses and lavender must smell so divine. The garden statues are beautiful too especially of the girl. It looks like a glorious sunny summer day. Too bad summer will end soon. Autumn is coming.

  5. Paul, Another dreamy spot of the world. Like to enroll myself if it was still possible! I cannot believe the wall with the gate! Love that and the roses on the dome pergola and the woven pear! If only I could grow a border like this one.

    Okay have to say it- Miss H looks like Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. (At least in the London version she was played by a man!) I'm sure she was nicer though..

    I adore all these garden posts Paul! You need to be in a few too!


  6. A beautiful garden - and yes, I too like a good work-out (but NOT in green - that colour is lovely for the garden, but not for the teint :-).

  7. Dear Paul - they do say that you should not judge a book by its cover - Miss H has created something of beauty.
    I once visited Waterperry for their annual Art in Action - well worth attending. There are artists and craftspeople demonstrating and showing their skills, art lectures, performing arts, musicians, and over 100 stalls of the most covetable things to buy from here and around the world.
    Really like that cane pear igloo.

  8. She looks like a true English eccentric character, just wonderful, as are her beautiful gardens. Love the willow pear sculpture.

  9. That bench looks so inviting, looks so peaceful...

  10. Beautiful gardens! I like the pear and the window in the cedar hedge. Miss H. sure seems like a character. Does she actually lead the tour?

  11. Hi Paul,

    Just scrolled through your last two posts. You visited some grand houses & gardens! I will have to remember them for when I next visit the UK. The tea looked absolutely delicious. I hoped to see you and your partner on the photo, but alas...... :-)

    Have a good evening!

    Madelief x

  12. i am liking the vine pear shaped canopy....

  13. You know what? I would love to go to this garden and have a garden tour with YOU, sir Paul! I suspect you would be a very fun and energetic guide, and I would learn a thing or two not only about English gardens, but some fun Britishisms! "Spit-Spot".....I LOVE THAT!

    Happy day! Anita

  14. Paul, you have had a busy and beautiful summer! Another beautiful garden, and that pear! I need that pear, what is it made of?

    Your photos and narrative are worthy of a book...Rizzoli here you come!