Sunday, April 15, 2012
Hurrying over the newly erected bridge over the Ha-ha Ms Tagalong and Mr Ideasman found themselves in the courtyard in front of this magnificent house. Ms Tagalong is sure you readers know what a ha-ha is so she won't bore you with a description but suffice it to say there were no stray sheep lying in the ditch as they attempted to eat all the plants at the plant fair.
Ms Tagalong was on a mission. She wanted a purple clematis and hang the cost. In fact she nearly got hung, drawn and quartered when the price of the beautiful Aphrodite variety she had chosen found Mr Ideasman scrabbling around for some extra small change for a cup of coffee! It was a close shave but the crisis was averted by a cheap coffee and piece of chocolate brownie.
Time to enter the gardens themselves. Mapperton Gardens. They paused at the gates. Lichen and moss covered ancient stone walls dating from who knows what century; they are really old gushed Ms Tagalong and Mr Ideasman said in true Woody Allen style, yes they look it! The walls had obviously withstood centuries of weathering secured by wisteria, their spring growth tapping at the rippled windowpanes.
A harsh crowing and cackling broke the reverie, a lot of noise over some wandering ducks apparently. The cockerel belligerently staking his territory with the assistance of a lady hen. The others just continued pecking around the plants, taking a nibble of an euphorbia here, a daffodil there.
Ms Tagalong played lady of the manor strolling through the grounds, admiring the orangerie, the topiary and imagining her superb game of croquet. The purple prose trips off the tongue of the official website Mapperton Gardens is a romantic valley garden deep into a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside. Well, dear reader, it is exactly as described. Mr Ideasman raced around with the camera taking the garden from every angle.
Not quite a community garden this, more a manorial masterpiece, housing a Lord and Lady but open occasionally for viewing by the community!
As they left, negotiating the bridge, Mr Ideasman said 'Ewe'd better be careful,' and fell about laughing. 'Ha ha' retorted Ms Tagalong.