A gar­dener’s gar­den

There’s a chance to buy Mary Keen’s Cotswold home or an his­toric Welsh seat

Country Life Every Week - - Property Market -

then, lit­tle has changed in this val­ley and, ac­cord­ing to Mrs Lycett Green, ‘St Michaels re­mains well loved and the present rec­tory dwellers, whose bril­liant veg­etable gar­den skirts the western church­yard wall, are de­voted cus­to­di­ans’.

Those ‘cus­to­di­ans’ are leg­endary gar­den de­signer and writer Mary Keen and her hus­band, Charles, who, over the years, have toiled cease­lessly to cre­ate their own glo­ri­ously un­pre­ten­tious cor­ner of the Cotswolds— a two-acre gar­den ‘tip­ping into wilder­ness’ and sur­rounded by 10 acres of pas­ture and eight acres of wood­land. Writ­ing in Coun­try Life (Septem­ber 9, 2015), Lady Mary re­veals a downto-earth ap­proach to her own, very pri­vate, rec­tory gar­den—quite dif­fer­ent, she ad­mits, from the more for­mal gar­dens that she and her as­so­ciate Pip Mor­ri­son are called upon to de­sign for an eclec­tic in­ter­na­tional clien­tele. ‘With al­most two acres and only five days a month of skilled help, it’s im­por­tant to be re­al­is­tic about what can be done once one is past the age of three-score years and 10,’ she ex­plains. ‘It helps that I pre­fer cre­at­ing at­mos­phere to fuss­ing over tidy per­fec­tion, but I do want en­ergy to spare for tend­ing au­ric­u­las, pelargo­ni­ums, an­nual and half-hardies, as well as green­house work.’

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