I am starting this post from high in the sky as I make my way home from having the most wonderful time with my precious grandsons and their parents in the beautiful town of Henley on Thames. It is as picturesque and wonderful as it sounds.
For those of you who have been to England, you know what I mean. I have been steeped in picturesque countryside, charming streets, wonderful people, a slower pace of life, amazing gardens, roses and family.
My daughter and I are two peas in a pod. What a blessing she has always been. I could extol her virtues for days – a beautiful, kind, creative who infuses beauty wherever she goes. I can’t even put into words what it was like to share some of the most charming towns, and gardens with her. As I was planting roses in my daughter’s new garden, I was struck by the fact that for the past 30 years I have worked on creating my version of an English Cottage Garden (heavy on roses) in the midwest and now I find myself planting roses in a my daughters garden in England. Head Shake.😱 This reminds me of a favorite scripture… To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine… Ephesians 3:20  Yes, I didn’t know to ask for this and I couldn’t imagine it but I am incredibly grateful.

To top it off… our days of little boys, tours and gardening ended with a glass of wine, watching gardening shows and making garden plans. Bliss. We just never know the twists and turns our lives will take. God’s blessings are poured out at every stage and age. I am grateful for every stage I have been through and am simply delighting in this new one — seeing her and her little tribe bloom in this new place.


Here are a few of the gardens we visited…

GREYS COURT…. dates back to the early 12th Century as the home of the Grey Family. When you are there you truly feel you have stepped back in time. The house is so beautiful, the great tower is a historical work of art, but it was the series of gates and gardens that I fell in love with.

HIGHCLERE CASTLE (Where Downton Abbey was filmed.)

Highclere Castle is the home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. It is said to be the finest occupied Victorian mansion in England. While the outside looked familiar to me as a fan of the show, once we started through the front door and into the amazing gardens, I forgot about the show and just fell in love with Highclere.

The gardens were more than I ever expected: A secret garden of white flowers, lush borders, stones walls and picturesque gates, a wildflower meadow – beautiful, serene and filled to the brim with busy pollinators, and so many roses! The roses were not at peak, but there were still plentiful and beautiful.

STONOR PARK & GARDENS … a historic country house that has been home to the Stonor family for 850 years.

We made several other garden stops — all just whetting our appetite for more!

I struggled to leave my loves, but was eager to see Mr. G’s handsome face and try out some new things in the garden. 😱 Yes, I came home with more than a few ideas! Garden hats off to Mr. G for having a garden to come home to. I so appreciate his diligence in watering and battling the Japanese Beetles. He’s the best! xoxox

I have always believed that life is best if you can “bloom where you are planted.” Even if you are somewhere for a short time, there can be infinite rewards. This week I have been planted in my garden attacking all those weeds that also loved Mr. G’s watering. But, what a couple of weeks I have had.

Regardless of where I am, these three sweet boys are never far from my mind.

9 thoughts on “KINGDOMS, KIDS and KASTLES

  1. What a precious time you have had! So happy for you. Love your photos, very artistic!

  2. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip T!
    So glad to see other hedges in need of a trim. 😉
    What a fine idea to plant white hydrangeas around a bench at Highclere.
    And OH those brick garden walls, we Americans are only able to envy!
    You must be in a whirlwind as you settle back here, yet what a wonderful spin!

  3. I have been to England and enjoyed their weather and amazed at how their roses grow. The roses take over walls and gardens without much or any effort. Their garden have inspired me to plant my rose and then plant annuals and perennials where ever there is an empty space, this allows the garden to burst into colors and colors every where! This method also allows the roses to stay cool.

  4. What a beautiful trip, not only with family but with beautiful blooms planted in days of old and new. Loved every picture and of course the moments making memories.

  5. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures of your lovely family and the fantastic buildings and gardens in England! Your post has stirred up my wanderlust!

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