Last week the husband & I vacationed in the stunningly beautiful Cotswold District of England. Let me tell you, when the English say "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty," they ain't messing around. Seriously. This was the most naturally beautiful place I've ever been (The Alhambra is the most beautiful man-made place I've ever been).
I admit it, I got a little teary-eyed when we were driving away. If only I could find a job there....
Most of the houses in the Cotswolds seem to have the most charming gardens. Their yards, which aren't MUCH bigger than my 1/10 acre lot often include a small green house. Meaning, the English are serious about gardening, which I kinda knew, but then watched Bridget Jones' Diary & thought maybe that was a thing of the past.
One of my favorite places we visted was Hidcote Gardens, a National Trust Site. It was the home of Lawrence Johnston, a famous horticulturist. Hidcote is often described as one of England's great "Arts and Crafts" gardens. The garden itself is divided into "rooms" with each room having it's own theme (there's the Red Border, White, Upper Stream, etc.). I think we spent an hour and a half there and honestly, I could just pull up a tent & set up camp & live there forever. And, it should be noted, I don't really like camping. It's THAT beautiful.
Here are some photos that in no way accurately depict the loveliness that is Hidcote Manor Gardens (click on the photo to see it larger):