Time to move along to the next installment of the
Cotswold Garden Tour.

While I would like to take you along for each and every garden and event we saw, it’s just not possible in this space. So I’ll limit this last post to a few of the gardens we saw during the second half of our week.

Let’s begin with our visit to
Broughton Castle, home of Lord and Lady Saye and Sele.

The entrance to the castle:

This turned into a very, very special event for all of us; more so than had even been planned!
We were taken on a very complete tour of the castle and then went outside to go on a tour of the gardens. At that point Lord Saye appeared and proceeded to chat us up…mind you, he is 96 and it was another hot and sunny day out in the gardens! What a truly delightful man. He was soon joined by his wife, Lady Saye who is equally delightful and SO knowledgable about each and every plant in this very extensive garden. The name of each different rose, or poppy, or peony was spoken to us as though she were reading from a script. We were amazed.

And here, dear readers, is a very special photo. This is our group with our gracious hosts, Lord and Lady Saye. Keep in mind, this was after almost two hours walking and talking in the hot sun. Lord Saye then asked if he could “treat” us to ice cream at the on site tea room. And so we whiled away many very pleasant minutes talking of their life, of the centuries’ history of this castle and of life in general. It was, truly, a time none of us will ever forget.

And here I simply must include this photo, no matter the terrible quality (!), of our wonderful leaders. On the right is Andrew Guppy, owner of Costwold Tours, and on the left is Vivienne McGhee who went over and above any “requirements ” of the job: she is SO knowledgeable about any and all things Cotswold garden related, endlessly patient, and one of those people you just know you will never forget. Thank you to these two for making our week magical!


The next day, among several offerings, we went to
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove
home of their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Dutchess of Cornwall.
No one is allowed to take in either cell phones or cameras, so I have nothing original to show you. Do go to the site and look around. And I urge you, if you ever have the remotest chance, to buy a ticket and GO!

It is spectacular. Prince Charles bought the estate in 1980 and within a year decided to go totally organic with all the gardens and fields. One of the perennials he loves most is Delphiniums. Well, of course, I was in awe as I can’t grow them in my climate and I miss them. But these Delphiniums were, I kid you not, 9 to 10 ft. tall!!!   They were magnificent. All shades of blue mixed with white. Hundreds and hundreds. And most were individually staked and tied. It was quite a sight.

Our last day.
Our first visit was to
Coach House

I have admit that this was one of my top three of the week. First of all, I just really liked the owner and our garden tour guide of the day, Mel Tanner. Mel and her husband have worked on this house and garden for almost thirty years. Although it is only an acre and a half, it feels large and spacious through the creation of “rooms.” There are different levels although most are only a step or two up and down. The rill, which I showed your here, was so lovely.

Here are some views of selected areas:

A short video of the gardens:



Mel served us a lovely morning tea, complete with assorted cakes!

And now, a rare…very rare…self portrait. No, not a selfie, but my friend Peggy offered and guess what, I have four (count ’em, four!) really good photos. The lighting in this arbor was superb and she just snapped away.



  1. Libby…I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this tour, I knew it would be stellar when I saw it on the internet. Broughton is, indeed, a treasure. How lucky to meet Lord & Lady and hear their personal experiences. I’ve just finished putting the finishing touches on a 2018 tour to East Anglia and am so looking forward to exploring another region of England.

    • Marian: Is Beth Chatto in East Anglia? Would love to go there! Yes, the tour was so much better than I even imagined. Our weather was so perfect which really helped! Let’s talk some time about future tours!!! Hope you are surviving this heat; thank goodness we finally had a soaking rain last night.
      Libby recently posted…COTSWOLD GARDEN TOUR: PART IIIMy Profile

    LUCKY LUCKY YOU I especially like the POST BAG!
    I have a friend going to CHARLES”s HOME in SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!I AM PEE GREEN WITH ENVY!!!!!!!
    LA CONTESSA recently posted…57……… HERE.My Profile

    • Oh dear… should I ask what you expected me to look like? (we will discuss privately!) Tell your friend the visit to Highgrove is just so special. And be sure to have lunch there: it is superb and many items are from the estate.
      Libby Wilkie recently posted…COTSWOLD GARDEN TOUR: PART IIIMy Profile

  3. Carol Schramek says:

    Hi Libby, I have so enjoyed your pictures and narrative of our tour to The Cotswolds! I forget, sometimes, that I was actually on this tour, because your photos are so much better than mine! I find myself thinking that I would like to take this tour! Then, I snap out
    of it, and the memories come back to me! Would love to hear if you find similar tours to Andrew’s in different parts of Great Britain or other parts of Europe. I am already thinking of 2018. Carol

    • Hi Carol: Thank you so much! Yes, it was a very special week for all of us I think. Will let you know if I hear of other tours. I do have a friend (see comment above) here who is doing a tour of East Anglia next year: would you be interested? I can send you her info.
      Libby Wilkie recently posted…COTSWOLD GARDEN TOUR: PART IIIMy Profile

      • Carol Schramek says:

        Hi Libby, I would certainly be interested in hearing about any small garden tours of England and other parts of Europe. I am looking for trips that are unique and allow for more personalized experiences. What I loved about Andrew’s tour is the flexibility in accommodations and the independence that the tour allowed even while travelling with others. The food was fantastic too!

  4. I am beyond fascinated with the majestic manors and castles of England. I can’t get enough of them and love to take tours when I can. The Mr is pretty good about humoring me – but I know I can’t press it. What a treat to chat with the Lord and Lady too! That portrait is great – you DO look relaxed! I must follow your lead and take some trips on my own!
    Cyndi Murdoch recently posted…Packing for a Weekend at the LakeMy Profile

    • Cyndi: So sorry for this late reply: my blog/tech is supposed to send me comments in an email, so I know they are there. It’s been very sporadic the last few months, so I often don’t check back here! Anyway, yes, travelling alone really has its advantages. I love staying in cities alone and being free to do whatever I like. I’m not big on organized tours, but this one was just enough, and small enough, that it worked beautifully. We’re off to Maine next week for some cool weather!

  5. I have so enjoyed this tour, Libby and taken notes for a future trip. Thank you for taking us along!

  6. Sorry I haven’t visited you for ages it has been good to catch up. Your tour of Cotswold Gardens looks amazing. We have always found that going on holiday with a small group is so much more fun as everyone seems to join together more. That’s a wonderful picture of you too. I’m so glad you had a fantastic time! I really should visit those fantastic gardens! Sarah x