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Dan Pearson and Harold Peto in the Cotswolds

Hillside and Iford Manor

UPDATE: Our 2020 programme of Garden Visits has been postponed until 2021. Tickets are automatically transferred, ticket holders have been informed.

New date: Friday 9 July 2021
(Original date was Friday 10 July 2020)

Our visits today are to two very special and personal gardens that have helped to plot the course of their owners’ lives. We will also have the added bonus of a visit to Special Plants Nursery, belongs to acknowledged plants woman and author, Derry Watkins.

In 2010 Dan Pearson, the renowned landscape designer and writer, together with his partner Huw Morgan, moved from their London town garden to a beautiful but windswept hillside in Somerset, taking with them three carloads of plants, hope and ambition. Ten years on we are privileged to be their guests and to see the magnificent results of their creativity at Hillside. On this exclusive visit Dan will personally guide us through this deeply considered garden, describing its creation and explaining the planting he has selected to fit with the surrounding landscape and the demanding site conditions. Beforehand, we will have a chance to admire commanding views of the garden and the valley beyond, whilst enjoying Huw’s home-baking and morning coffee in the loggia.

From Hillside we will travel separately and meet at romantic Iford Manor. When the Edwardian architect and garden designer Harold Peto moved to Wiltshire in 1899 he took with him a passion for classical Italian style and these spectacular Grade I listed gardens – laid out over a series of linked terraces and lawns overlooking the Iford Valley – are the result. Antique sculpture, cloisters, statues, water features and garden buildings are framed by a wonderful collection of trees, shrubs, climbing plants and herbaceous perennials. Since 1965 the gardens have been in the ownership of the Cartwright-Hignett family who have lovingly restored and extended them over the decades after they had been thought lost.

Following a delicious lunch at the new Iford Manor restaurant we will be privileged to have a special tour of the family’s private walled garden. Afternoon tea will follow and then an exclusive tour of the main gardens. Our guides will be William Cartwright-Hignett and head gardener Troy Scott Smith, who moved here last year, following his extraordinary success at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent.

Please note: Access to both gardens can be difficult due to steep inclines and narrow paths.

We recommend that you plan your routes well in advance so that you can find the destinations easily.     

This event has been organised by the Garden Museum’s Garden Visits committee. We recommend you read our Garden Visits Attendee Charter and Refund/exchange policy before booking your place on any of our Garden Visits.                                   

Image: Hillside © Huw Morgan; Iford Manor and Troy Scott Smith © Iford Manor; Dan Pearson © Eva Nemeth