Well worth a visit in May/June. Information about the property is from the National Trust website – link below.
Barrington Court garden dates from the early 1920’s. It is laid out in a series of contrasting “rooms” inspired by a very grand design by architects Forbes and Tate with planting suggestions from Gertrude Jekyll despite the fact that she was in her late seventies and had poor eyesight. The structure and style and the Arts and Crafts details still remain intact and this garden is believed to be one of the best preserved of her gardens. Separate colour themes now identify the individual “garden rooms”. The former bullstalls (Buss-stalls) provide a planting wall for fragrant roses and other climbers. There is also a magnificent kitchen garden with produce used in the restaurant.
The Court House built by William Clifton in 1552 is a typical Elizabethan E-shaped design in mellow Ham Stone. William Strode added the red-brick Strode House in 1674. Originally the farm buildings it now houses the restaurant and shop. The property is surrounded by cider orchards which are used to produce award-winning cider and apple juice.
Barrington Court is near Ilminster in Somerset in a very rural location and is looked after by the National Trust. My visit was in early June when the garden was full of late spring and early summer flowers, including many roses. Fortunate to have a sunny day it was bliss to wander through the various displays in the Rose and Iris Garden and the Lily Garden which follow the principles of Jekyll’s colour teaching. Mellow yellow Tudor brick paving, which changes pattern every few metres from block to diamond, herringbone to circle to square, leads you thorough the faded oak doors into the White Garden still very much Edwardian crammed with irises, phlox, roses, cosmos and others. Lavender and box line the patterned brick paths. I cannot describe the heady perfume.
The featured image (top) is Strode House (built by William Strode in the 17th century) which was originally a stable and coach block and is now used as the restaurant. The kitchen garden provides produce for the restaurant; this includes all types of fruit and vegetables. We ate lunch there, a freshly cooked salmon quiche and salad with local apple juice. It was delicious. And within this building is a beautiful inner courtyard with a pond. To the side of the honey-coloured mansion is a wild-flower meadow, complete with beehives.
If you are in the area, don’t miss a visit to this beautiful garden.
(Click on any photo below to walk through this garden with me.)