Dahlia delight at Chenies Manor
I had a glorious afternoon at Chenies Manor House last week and here's a view of the delicious Grade I listed property from the gardens to show off its setting. Those twisted chimneys tell us it dates back to Tudor times and I later found out their maker went on to build the famous ones at Hampton Court.
The place has a 'settled in' feel about it which sits perfectly at home with its surroundings and village, probably because there's been a manor house there since Anglo Saxon times, if not earlier. It makes for a relaxing place to explore.
The garden's planting is structural yet romantic and divided into several 'rooms'. It's noted for its dahlias at this time of the year and they were opulent and delightful.
Another strong feature were the sculptures which added a contemporary note to the Tudor influenced design. I feel I've been following a particular sculptor around the past few weeks - Jenny Pickford - the creator of the floral sculpture you can see in the distance below. She exhibited at Malvern last month plus the 'Sculpture in Landscape' retrospective at West Leaze the weekend before this visit. I've seen her work in many previous years too; I love her mix of metalwork and glass.
Here are a few more sculptures which caught my eye, plus a closer look at Jenny's.
Let's have a wander through the rest of the garden, which includes a physic garden, a maze (not photographed), a kitchen garden, a labyrinth, a rose garden (not pictured), and a white garden, amongst others. It means there's plenty to explore there.
Last, but not least there's a gazebo which took my attention away from the maze and the 1,000 year-old oak also in this part of the garden. Elizabeth I is reported to have climbed that tree as a girl. We weren't able to look around the House owing to Covid, but we were still treated to a talk on its history which sets everything in context.
There's still time to make your own visit with tickets available for Wednesday and Thursday afternoons until the end of October. Good Covid-19 prevention processes are in place and there's plenty of space to explore and avoid other visitors if needed. There is an option of a timed ticket for the tea room to ensure numbers here are kept within the guidelines. Alternatively, Chenies Manor House reopens for glorious tulip time next year.