It was the Bank Holiday weekend. It was cold. It rained. It is raining still. But yesterday the sun emerged from behind thick cloud so we shot out, before the weather could change, to see Grange Farm garden in the Cotswolds.
|one of the famous yellow ngs signs|
Here in the UK we have a charity called the National Gardens Scheme (ngs) for which people open their gardens and charge a modest sum for entry (amount varies depending on garden) which goes to the ngs. The gardens are inspected by ngs and must be 'interesting' and 'of quality and character'. This doesn't mean they have to be huge; some are, but there are others which are relatively small.
There are over 4000 gardens open during the year in England and Wales. Some will open only once during that time, others more often. They can be found in the distinctive ngs Yellow Book.
Some gardens do Teas; another great British tradition of afternoon tea (the drink) and home made cake. These wonderful cakes beat the bought versions hollow; they are cakes to die for -- albeit loaded with calories. But who cares? It's in a very good cause :)
|Front of Grange Farm|
After walking round the garden, we meandered home cross-country and took a detour to a tiny village we'd never seen before and went in the church. Like the farmhouse above it was built out of the local Cotswold stone. No picture because it was surrounded by old yew trees.
The original nave (tiny) dates back to Saxon times. The south door had been renewed - by the Normans.
|Norman south door|
As we came through the door into the church, we had a view of a wall painting. These were common in medieval times but not many have survived. The one below dates back to the 14th century and is probably the largest I've ever seen in a church. Traces of paint could be seen on the arches in the nave too. Churches must have been colourful places once, and far removed from their simplicity in modern times.
|Part of 14th century judgement day wall painting|
It was good to get out and about, exploring the countryside. There are so many beautiful, old and interesting things to be found tucked away in the quiet corners of Britain.