The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Barnsley House at Last

 Venerable Boxwood at the Front of Barnsley House

Irish Yew Allee and Rose Rock Path

Richard Gatenby, Head Gardener since 1999,  leads our Tour

The Herb Garden

Simon Verity Obelisks at the Entrance to the Winter Walk

View Across the Lawn to the Herb Garden

Simon Verity Stone Gardener Right of the Gate Leading to the Potager

Stone Garder to the Left

The Huge Leaves of an  Ornamental Rhubarb in the Broad Border

The Potager

Apple Trees in the Potager

Barnsley House Lawn brought up to date with Sleek Modern Chaise Lounges

I have been wanting to see Barnsley House, the garden of the late Rosemary Verey, ever since her book, The American Man's Garden, inspired me to make a real effort at creating my own garden in the early 1990's. I was fortunate enough to meet her in person at talk in 1999 at the Glebe House in Woodbury, CT. She had a bit of her twinkle in her eye that lend one to believe that she wasn't entirely the staid English lady that photographs of her in flowered print dresses might suggest.

Since Verey died in 2001, the house and garden were sold and made into an elegant boutique hotel. Fortunately, the head gardener, Richard Gatenby, has remained on staff creating a link with the garden's creator. The garden is much smaller than one might expect after reading her book, We Made a Garden.

After a delicious lunch at the nearby village pub, also operated by the same firm that owns Barnsley House, we had a guided tour through the garden with Richard. He has done an excellent job keeping this famous garden intact while making the necessary changes that a garden of this maturity requires. He spoke with reverence about "Mrs. Verey" and continues to artfully carry on her legacy.


  1. Hello, Michael. You wouldn't know Barnsley House was in any way a small garden; everything about it suggests a high and broad scale of quality. It must be quite wonderful for you to be there, to have got there in person, and to find it so well cared-for. Really lovely place.

    1. Fiasal,
      It is a great thrill to visit a garden like Barnsley House after anticipating it for so many years. The intimacy of the garden is very welcoming. It certainly doesn't lack quality.

  2. Dear Michael - I have always wanted to visit Rosemary Verey's Barnsley House. As a passionate and frustrated gardener, I have spent many hours reading / consulting her books. You are fortunate to have met her.

    I see that you are on a garden tour across the pond.....look forward to reading about the other gardens! Have fun, Loi

    1. Loi,
      I am looking forward to re-reading We Made a Garden. It will make even more sense after seeing the garden and speaking with Richard. I am having a great time.



Related Posts with Thumbnails