Garden Portrait: Bourton House

Bourton House Garden is one of the best kept secrets of the Cotswolds. The most famous garden in this region is Hidcote which attracts coach loads of visitors from London so can often be a little overcrowded. No problems here. This 3 acre garden surrounding an 18C Manor House is much quieter. Located only a short distance out of Moreton-in-Marsh it is also close to the Batsford Arboretum and Sezincote and a very decent pub.

bourton house

Manor House

The entrance to the gardens is through a magnificent Grade I listed 16C Tithe Barn where you will find merchandise for the home and garden and a pretty decent tea-room.

tithe barn

My visit to this garden was in early June in a year when spring was late in arriving, so there were lots of spring flowers in bloom. It is a plantsman’s garden with unusual, rare and exotic delights. Deep herbaceous borders highlight textures and colour combinations and there are terraces and topiary to provide interest. The Topiary Walk leads into the White Garden, attractively designed around a shallow square pond.

garden view 2

The White Garden

Deep herbaceous borders

Pathways  lead you through to the lawn behind the early 18th century house facing the beautiful raised walk which in turn provides panoramic vistas over the Cotswold countryside. Deep herbaceous borders surround the lawn area.

cottage garden border

18th Century Raised Walk



apple blossom


From here you wander past a Shade House and splendid Knot Garden complete with 19th century statues.

knot garden

The Knot Garden

In the centre of the Knot Garden is a pretty basket-weave pond from the 1851 Great Exhibition, complete with two more elegant herons by Michael Lythgoe. A pretty Fountain Garden brings you to the front of the house and a parterre.

topiary at the front of the house

Parterre with Gazebo by Richard Overs

With lots of interesting plants and features to explore your visit can be much longer than you might expect for a small garden. And in addition to the gardens themselves there is a small glasshouse containing succulents and a Brewhouse with containers and more topiary outside.

Late summer is supposed to be a good time to visit as the garden flourishes when many have run their course, but spring certainly has its own beauties to enjoy.

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

30 thoughts on “Garden Portrait: Bourton House

  1. This is a pretty garden. I always thought it would be nice to have enough space to have a colour theme like the white garden and when we built our home and started our garden from scratch I decided to have a purple and yellow garden bed. It does have some other colours now but it still looks nice in summer.

    • I am the same Carol. I have books of Gertrude Jekyll’s designs, with ideas for themed rooms within a garden. Sadly I have reached the age where the size of such a garden would be too much for me and where I can’t afford a gardener! Purple and yellow go well together. Red and orange could be added to create ‘hot’ borders. I still like white on its own. Maybe you could post a photo of your summer garden for the June challenge?

  2. This is indeed a lovely walk. You make it sound very inviting. I love the galleries of flowers and the vista and the topiary and deeply admire your capacity for taking the bigger picture.

    • It is such a pretty garden and hardly anyone there, which I like as I hate rushing around a garden as you know! There is an arboretum walk across the road too, which is probably more mature now and a delightful spot too picnic in. The Cotswolds is a charming (and very expensive) area with lots of lovely gardens.

  3. Wonderful! I had no idea that a little we garden could be so magnificent! Now it has been added to the (ever growing) list of places I must visit!

    • I had such a list Meghan, I tore it up once I realised that I would have to live at least two life-times to do it all. Now I just take what I can when the opportunity arises 🙂

    • I think late May and June are the best months after April’s burgeoning spring flowers. Often by July and August there is nothing left, though in recent years gardeners have been planting more colour for the autumn such as rudbeckia and helenium. Grey? Not in the Algarve still? It’s a beautiful day down here.

    • ANY garden is a beautiful place for me to walk Dawn. I love looking at the planting. Now I have a garden at last I can look forward to actually planting some of them!

  4. What a lovely place to while away an afternoon, Jude! And that’s even without the tearooms 🙂 I love that tithe barn entry and your pink/lilac and orangey galleries are as good as any you’ve done. You’re not bad at this, you know? 🙂 🙂 Thank you very much for this nicely sedate stroll. I loved it.

  5. This is rather gorgeous Jude. I love the knot garden, the parterre and the herbaceous borders with nice paving around. Have a relaxing weekend, I gather you’re between visitors 🙂

    • The Cotswolds are a delight Gilly, have you been there? Got a bit involved in the garden again today, after watching the tennis in Paris and going out for lunch (life is one big holiday at the moment!). Next visitors due in 10 days time so a bit of a breather. Hope they have as good weather as we had this week.

  6. What a lovely garden. I always love gardens with manicured shrubbery and hedges – it seems to contrast so well with the areas with flowers. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, Jude! Best, Susan

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