In a digital age when it seems everything has to be booked in advance on line, there’s something refreshingly old fashioned about Kiftsgate Court Gardens, near Mickleton, Gloucestershire.
When we called in advance to get tickets we were politely told, “There’s no need for that. Just turn up. If we are full then you’ll get have to wait”.
And when we did arrive we weren’t greeted by corporate uniformed staff. There was an elderly couple sitting behind a trestle table with a money box. They did take card payments, but it set the tone.
Kiftsgate is a wonderful place.
The gardens are set around what is still a private house are magnificent.
They are famous for two things.
First is Kiftsgate climbing rose but alas, we have little to say about them as a visited on a warm spring day, it was too early in the season to see it in bloom.
The second reason is that they were developed and designed by three generations of women Heather Muir who stared to develop the gardens in the 1930’s, Diana Biny who continued the work in the 1950s and then Anne Chambers who continued the tradition.
The design and development of the garden by these women give the gardens an informal, intimate feeling which is offset by its speculator setting. From the house you walk down banked gardens which are steep in some areas, down to a superb outdoor swimming pool with incredible views across the valley below.
It’s well worth a visit.