Perfect Spring weekend in the Cotswolds
By David Wood
Where: Barnsley Village, near Cirencester
When: Friday, May 17, to Sunday, May 19
Green-fingered enthusiasts will descend on the honey-stoned village of Barnsley, in the Cotswolds, next month for a weekend of gardening festivities.
At the heart of the celebrations is boutique hotel Barnsley House, part of The Calcot Collection, and the former home of the 'queen bee of English country house gardening', Rosemary Verey.
The weekend will see the 31st edition of the annual Barnsley Village Festival take place on Saturday, May 18, when the village and its gardens, many designed by Rosemary herself, are open to the public.
A firm festival favourite are the Barnsley House gardens; a distillation of Rosemary's experience, vision, personal taste and sheer joy for gardening and best known for its iconic laburnum arch with allium underplanting, knot garden, the potager (with its crossing brick pathways and balls of privet), yew-lined lawns, Gothic summer house and Doric columned temple.
The day raises funds to enhance and improve the character and upkeep of the village, as well as supporting local and national charities.
Garden Passports - which provide access to all "open" gardens (including Barnsley House Hotel and Barnsley Park), will be available at the entrance on the day for £7 per person (children free).
Continuing the green theme, on Sunday, May 19, Barnsley House will play host to a Potager Lunch with award-winning garden and landscape designer, writer, radio and TV broadcaster, Matthew Wilson.
Matthew has designed two show gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show - winning the esteemed People's Choice Award at the show in 2016.
Alongside his main work as a landscape designer he also writes extensively in the media, is a correspondent for the Financial Times and has been a regular panellist on Radio 4's Gardeners Question Time since 2009.
Priced at £40 per person, guests can enjoy a guided tour of the Barnsley House gardens, followed by a Potager inspired lunch with a glass of wine on the lawn (weather permitting) with a talk and Q&A with Matthew.
For more information, visit the Barnsley Village website.
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