Barnsley is a small, unspoilt village in the heart of the Cotswolds, three miles from the Roman city of Cirencester, with around 160 inhabitants.
This year the Barnsley Village Garden Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary.
There were 11 gardens of varying size, open to visitors, including the famous Barnsley House gardens. Visitors were also given the rare opportunity to visit the magnificent grounds of Barnsley Park and the Musgrave Arboretum.
Here are some of my favourite images from the gardens we visited. If you click on the first one to get an enlarged picture, you can then scroll through the rest.
The 17th century manor house, Barnsley House, was once home to the late Rosemary Verey, OBE, VMH, and her husband David. Rosemary was an internationally renowned garden designer and garden writer who died in 2001. She designed the gardens at Barnsley House and her husband constructed many of the garden structures. At the height of its popularity the gardens attracted 30,000 visitors a year. Nowadays the property is Barnsley House Hotel, where the gardens are primarily for the enjoyment of the guests, but there are the occasional opportunities to visit them. Barnsley Village Festival is one such opportunity. Here are some images of this famous garden, which I hope do it justice.
The Little House garden provided a beautiful setting for the sculpture displays by local sculptors Stephanie Cushing and Joanna Walker. Between gardens, visitors were tempted by a selection of craft, plant and local produce stalls.
The whole village seemed to be involved in the Festival in some way and everyone was very friendly. Car parking, which could have been an issue in a small village, had been well organised. A BBQ was put on by The Village Pub and there was a fantastic selection of home-made cakes and teas in the village hall. The lovely 12th Century parish church had been beautifully decorated with flower arrangements and the bell ringers demonstrated their skills. Entertainment included Morris Dancers, Maypole Dancers, a juggler, jazz band and the Salvation Army Band.
I would happily recommend a visit to the next Barnsley Village Garden Festival for a thoroughly enjoyable day out.