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Garden Visit – Kiftsgate Court and Rockcliffe House

Special gardens in the Cotswolds.

Beginning the day at Kiftsgate we shall have the gardens to ourselves and the opportunity to meet Anne and Johnny Chambers. Anne will introduce us to her garden during morning coffee, after which you will have the pleasure of exploring it for yourself.

If you have had the chance to visit our exhibition you will understand the history of the making of the garden. Experience the spaces created by three generations of women gardeners, in a garden described by Mary Keen as being full of surprises, and its history will come alive. Walk through the Four Squares garden full of gentle, harmonious combinations, enjoy the skilful handling of hues in the Yellow Border, be calmed by the modern water garden and take the opportunity to fully appreciate the tulip-tree avenue from the adjacent mound. Renowned for its roses, June is a high point with old fashioned roses aplenty and the famous Kiftsgate rose scrambling over three trees.

Onward after lunch to the eight acre garden at Rockcliffe House created by Emma Keswick, whose home this is. Head gardener Spencer Devaney will guide us through the garden that is not usually open to the public. Though traditional English Garden features abound, as explained by Victoria Summerly, “the gardens of Rockcliffe House do not pay slavish homage to tradition and nostalgia”. Its flowing herbaceous borders, roses, imaginative topiary, rills and pools have been enhanced by a discerning owner’s hand; giving it its idyllic feel that seems so effortless. Two long formal ponds flank the croquet lawn, beneath rows of pleached limes, and behind this, a series of garden rooms, each with its own colour theme in pink, white or blue, surrounds the tennis court and swimming pool. Coincidentally, the rose whose flowers smother the swimming pool pavilion is Rosa ‘Kiftsgate’.

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: Kiftsgate Court © The Chambers Family / Rockcliffe House © Clive Nichols