“Ping” went the bra strap of the apocalypse

We have skived off for 24 hours to go and loll around at a very lovely hotel in Gloucestershire called Cowley Manor (www.cowleymanor.co.uk) which is wonderful. This morning it was bright and frosty and we walked along the banks of rushing rivers with the mud still a little crunchy and ice above the ankles of submerged willows. There is the most wonderful cascade(which, very foolishly I forgot to photograph) with a line of gargoyles pouring water into a stone basin 10’ below. From here it rushes down a wide rill, ducks underground and then reappears (in this case carrying two decent sized brown trout) in the second of a series of large lakes. (The point at which lakes become ponds is always an amusing way to waste a couple of minutes – over an acre? half an acre? depends on the position?).

This picture is of the view from my bedroom at eight o’clock this morning. There are some Edwardian terraces which are interesting but – in my opinion – too steep. The lake (pond) you can see is very close and it seems that the original designer did not leave enough space so the formal terraces

seem to rush down the hill too quickly. Terraces should march (like Roman legions in review order) and these behave as if somebody has given them a nudge and they have lost their footing. Ideally someone should move the whole building back 50 metres!

There is also a good looking Victorian fernery which is being replanted and some very large herbaceous drifts which were, I think, planted by Noel Kingsbury.

The picture is of Dahlia Arabian Night in a nest of dead Eryngiums.