Arriving along the sweep of the tree-lined carriage drive, across the bridge of the Little Lake with fishermen on its banks, a visitor to Buscot Park, one of the great gardens of the county, can look forward to many surprising pleasures. Approaching through the original stable block with its attractive clock tower, the visitor first enters the Four Seasons Walled Garden, transformed by the present Lord Faringdon, Charles Michael, third Lord Faringdon, from an eighteenth century kitchen garden to an ornamental showpiece.
Standing on a road that leads from nowhere to nowhere, Chastleton is in its own private world, secluded, quiet, and mesmerizingly beautiful. A visit here is a visit to another time, since very little has changed for four hundred years. Chastleton House has stood for four centuries in a corner of Oxfordshire, close to the borders with Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, in a peaceful spot well away from any chance passers by. It sits in the centre of a triangle between the Cotswold towns of Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Norton, and is by-passed by all except those who go to seek it out.
Barnsley House is a mellow seventeenth century stone rectory in the Cotswold village of Barnsley, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. For more than fifty years it was the home of Rosemary Verey, OBE (1918-2001), the legendary garden designer and writer. In 1939 she married David Verey, the architectural historian, whose family owned Barnsley House and in the grounds, she created her own gardens which she first opened to the public in 1970 under the National Gardens Scheme.
In a quiet Oxfordshire village, close to the infant River Thames, the ancient and beautiful Kelmscott Manor is a haven of peace. A living memorial to William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, the gardens are carefully preserved with the plants that Morris included in his designs and those which he wrote about in his prose and poetry.
The term 'Rococo' derives from the French words for rough rocks, rocaille, and shell-work, coquille, and is used in gardens to suggest a miniaturisation of features and their concentration in a smaller area than Arcadia. The principal aim of a Rococo layout was to divert, amuse and surprise any visitor.