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