September 13, 2011

So Long, Sweet Summer

Ignoring the back-to-school hoorah and the arrival of apple cider, decorative haybales and cornstalks at the supermarket, I have been persistently clinging to every last bit of summer. I'm not ready just yet to trade in my red, white and blue ribboned sandals for Smartwool socks and boots. But there was a distinct chill in the air the other night, and I reluctantly pulled my long sleeves down over my arms and a hoodie up over my little one's ears. Like it or not, Summer is off to visit another part of the world. So before I bid goodbye, here's one more long, wistful glance back over a long, beautiful summer.

Earlier this year, Veranda magazine featured a beautiful English garden in the North Cotswold village of Temple Guiting. It was my favorite garden-tour-by-proxy, so I've decided to visit it again as I turn the page on the season. I hope you enjoy the "tour" too!

The fulfillment of a boyhood dream of owning a house in the Cotswolds, a region of Southwest England known for its beautiful countryside, show-stopping gardens and storybook stone cottages, the property was purchased as a weekend retreat and has on it a centuries-old limestone manor house that has been inhabited since at least the fifteenth century.

By 2002, the manor's 14 acres were wild and the stone walls of the gardens were dilapidated, so the owner hired Jinny Blom to create a series of gardens that would be both user-friendly and true to the property's historical roots.

Jinny Blom is a former therapist and a self-taught gardener who jokes that, "My hobby got out of hand." I always love to see someone whose avocation becomes their vocation. Her style is, in my opinion, magical. Not only that, but she believes in what she calls "bulletproof planting" so that the plantings are not terribly high-maintenance, and the owners can spend more time enjoying the gardens than tending them.

The gardens are a mix of English and French design with loose, cottagey plantings lent formality by a framework of clipped hedges and stone walls and topiary. They are colourful, yet the palette is limited. Simply the best of both worlds!

As summer leaves for another year, I'll definitely miss the fireflies, warm breezes, chirping cicadas and my red, white and blue sandals, but soon I'll warm up to the sights and scents of Fall-- orange and red leaves, pumpkins, pansies and something yummy baking in the oven with the scent of cinnamon & nutmeg wafting through the air, and I'll be loving that too.

So until next year, goodbye sweet Summer.

xo - Keri

Garden design: Jinny Blom     all photos - Veranda


  1. Soooo lovely!!!! If my garden looked like this, I would refuse to live indoors!

  2. Brilliant plantings--stunningly beautiful, but also practical. That Jinny Blom is one talented garden designer. I hadn't seen these photos before, so thanks very much for sharing them!

    I so understand what you mean about holding onto summer. While fall is my favorite season, I'm not quite ready to let go of sunshine and summer blooms. I won't have much of a choice up here in Maine, but a girl can dream!

  3. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  4. Stunning garden! I may keep coming back to these images as it gets cooler and cooler here in Chicago. :)

  5. So beautiful! You had me at the first image, but the peonies are breathtaking too!

  6. Claudia, I'm so pleased you like it. Thank you for leaving a comment!

    Kate, you and me both! I think I could handle summertime nearly year-round. Thank you for commenting.


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