Ahh, Kiftsgate! All reports on this garden have been superb and so I was prepared for the best. Again, the day, the season, the incredible plant combinations, all contributed to a perfect visit. This is a private garden, a short walk from Hidcote Manor, and its claim to fame is its three generations of women gardeners. Heather Muir started the gardens in the 1920's and was succeeded by her daughter, Diana Binny, and then by her granddaughter, Anne Chambers. Anne Chambers continues to garden with her husband, children, and only a few employees. The house appears to be be climbing out of the garden, the hillside, the surrounding landscape. For all of Kiftsgate's grandeur, there is a lived-in vibrancy to the place and it feels deeply and personally loved. I was reminded of Italy, in the color of the stone, the stately columns, the steep hillside with tall spindly trees, the enclosed courtyards, the maze of hedges and unexpected views, and the veranda carved into the hillside. It was a sensuous garden, with pleasure and beauty entwined.
Vines covered the house and trees and shrubs pushed off the walls.
Incredible blue door with the colors of fall bouncing back.
A perfect late fall hydrangea shinning in its charming surroundings.
The Rose garden, looking back at the house. The day was warm and it felt like it would thunderstorm at any moment. Warm winds and soft translucent light lit the gardens and reflected off the stones.
The old tennis court was replaced by this sculpture designed by Simon Allison. The slender stalks sway in the breeze and water drips from the leaves. The light reflects off the black water and the bronze leaves, and casts shadows on the backdrop of yews.
At the bottom of the hillside is the most inviting pool I have seen.
From the pool looking back up at the house, the tucked in veranda and the hillside plantings.