Well as soon as I saw this sign, we were off past the sleeping hounds (btw they were much bigger than I thought and had a very doggy smell, although the latter was half-expected) and into the vegetable garden. Like many of the big houses we've visited it had a large area for growing vegetables, but this one just felt prettier. There were plenty of flowers around too and I left knowing this was the kind of look I'm after for my allotment.
We're a long way off that, but my plan is to develop it into a pretty and functional plot that can both feed us and provide cut flowers and look great too. It's good to know what I'm aiming for, because some days it feels a long way off!
There were rows and rows of neatly growing veg and it was reassuring to see the odd weed or two as well. The only part of the garden I wasn't so keen on were the "rivers" of marble stones between the beds, although I think the blue one in the photo above looks better in the photo than it did in real life. But I'll forgive them that as the rest of it blew my mind and I much preferred it when the foliage was used for the same effect.
As we walked around the garden, there was a definite pink theme emerging. These huge great plant pots were a bit of a clue, as were the pink bean poles.
Funky aren't they? I wonder if I could persuade MOH to paint our canes, no you're right maybe I'll do it myself one year. And just look at those lettuces, I've long-held ambitions to grow lettuces - and cabbages - in this style.
As well as pink there were plenty of burgundy plants, and these artichokes could be going on our growing list. MOH is keen to try the home grown sort, and while we've picked a few from the random plant under the crab apple tree I think they're past their best so they've ended up in a vase instead. I hope to move that plant over the winter into a more accessible place, so hopefully it won't put all its energy into growing 7ft tall competing with the tree for light and can concentrate on some nicer looking flower-fruit edible bits.
The roses here were full of scent - it definitely seems to have been a year for roses, but is it wrong of me to prefer the top photo to the rose in full bloom?
There were plenty of plants that we have in our garden which I love to see, these geraniums reminded me just how large the plant can grow and reminded me to give mine a late Chelsea Chop when I got home.
And what about this for a place to sit?
This meadow-like row has irises in the background, daisies in the foreground and that same burgundy plant we have on our allotment. I moved it last winter towards the edge of the plot and it's done well, but it needs a bit more space between it and the veggies as like here, at the moment it's all mingling together and it's hard to tell what's what.
I have a similar clematis on the patio, mine is Romantika and if I knew what this one was called when we saw it, I've long forgotten now.
You're probably wondering where all the pink is, so let's put that straight. There were rows and rows of these gorgeously frilly peonies.
Oh, and another peony. Because you can never have too many.
There was even pops of pink - thanks to the petunias - in the relatively newly planted cabbage bed. I've sown some red cabbages (and kale and cavolo nero and purple sprouting broccoli - I had a bit of a brassica session!) but I don't think I'll manage something like this quite yet. I'd love to see how it looks once the plants are more established, so if you're off to Cheverny please pop in take a photo and send it to me!
And there was rows and rows of valerian too, which is the plant that MOH added to his plant vocabulary this holiday - prompted by the clue Amy Winehouse. Obviously!
Definitely something for me to aim for here, though on a much smaller scale. And probably without the fountain in the centre, that might be a bit too much on our south London allotment site!