An Afternoon at the Big House

Lawn stripes. Can it get anymore English?

We’re back in the Cotswolds for a few weeks and we seem to have brought the weather with us from California. Sunday was one of those days when there is no better place to be in the world than England. A landscape lush with yellows of laburnum trees and rapeseed was offset by the contrast of a cloudless blue sky. By happy coincidence Stowell Park, the local big house and home of Lord and Lady Vestey, opened its gardens for a charity plant sale.

Peonies in the walled garden

We picked up a few cuttings to keep the gnomes company in the stone trough of our courtyard garden, then spent another hour admiring the wildlife around the house. My husband’s aunt was with us and she declared the view from in front of the house—looking out over Yanworth and the Coln River—to be one of the finest in England. It’s the kind of scenery that never photographs as well as it looks to the naked eye so I took a shot of the house instead, which is none too shabby. These bulls were in the pasture and, on a day like Sunday, I’d be happy to live there, too.

Bucolic bliss incarnate

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