Over the Midsummer weekend, there is magic abroad. On the longest day, the very start of the summer, we visited the secret garden at Cerney House. The soft warm air was heavy with the scent of roses and lavender, and the gentle breeze carried the audible buzzing of happy bees. Enclosed by old brick walls, brimming with gorgeous blooms, pretty vistas and hidden nooks, we found the archetypal English garden. It’s such a sweet, charming spot, with rambling roses, pots of bright geraniums and a greenhouse of fading elegance. Walking amongst beds overflowing with romantic colour, I felt as if I were stepping into a poem, or perhaps a Midsummer dream.
‘Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?’
-T.S. Eliot, from Burnt Norton (Four Quartets)