Yesterday, after several hours moaning loudly about the state of our garden and how much I hate living in our house, my teenage daughter Grace sighed deeply and with a wisdom beyond her years, said very calmly 'get your coat mum, you've got to stop wigging out and stressing, I'm taking you to see a garden'.
Twenty minutes later we arrived at Corsham Court, yet another place I have never got round to visiting with a gorgeous understated garden.
We mooched around in the main house and ooohed and aaahed over the amazing paintings and art then hot-footed it out into the soft autumn sunshine where peacocks roamed about and the sheep were nibbling on the fields on the other side of the ha-ha.
This place has Capability Brown written all over it, except that off to one side of the grounds was a beautiful arrangement of smaller walled gardens, stuffed full of lovely autumn planting and acres of topiary, all with a (and I hope they don't mind me saying this) slightly let go feel, which I really love.
My daughter led me around by the arm as if I was slightly demented, and although she is not a great fan of the outdoors I was really touched she had thought to take me to these gardens as they cheered me up and made me forget my tantrums at home. Although the planting was pretty standard, Verbena bonariensis by the square yard, Penstemons, miles of Buxus, considering we are at the tail end of the season, it was engaging and interesting enough for even the most jaded of garden types!
I tried to fit a pair of stone owls into my handbag but they would not fit, which was a shame as I have not seen such characterful creatures in a garden for a long while, there was also a rash of gorgeous massive urns and huge metal plant supports, shaped like upside down bells which were spread out throughout the large walled garden borders.
This garden also had an inspiring planting of six large Catalpa bigonioides which were luminescent in the late afternoon sunshine, their lime leaves lighting up the entire garden and giving fantastic structure planted in a circle around a dipping pond. Flanked by red brick walls and with several well thought out benches, I could have easily been left there for the rest of the week.
We did'nt quite make it out into the parkland as the only thing on our minds was getting a cream tea, but several times around the walled bits was enough anyway but there is a lot more to be explored.
This garden felt well loved, but not overly fluffed up, without the pretensions and strangle hold that a lot of National Trust gardens have, slightly chaotic in parts, good structure and without doubt a garden I would revisit many times again. The added bonus being that it was not overly busy so I could have a brief fantasy moment that this was my garden and not the wild and woolly mess that was still waiting for me at home.
And all this for only £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for children, although quite who the child was yesterday is up for debate.