Thursday, 14 June 2012

Docwra's Manor

A Very English Garden

Docwra's Manor stands in the Cambridgeshire village of Shepreth. From the road it looks rather formal; an eighteenth century squire's house perhaps. But around the back an older building is revealed; a farmhouse, in fact, dating in parts back to the fifteenth century.

The lawns and little summer house stand on what was once an old farmyard.

Around the front of the house to kneel down on the cobbles and photograph some of the colourful blooms. 

Very nice but hardly worth the price of admission, even to support the work of a charity. But wait here's a gap in the hedge leading into another garden.

As if it were some eccentric old lady or gentleman further acquaintance kept revealing unexpected and surprising facets to the garden's personality and past.

Roses bloomed in unkempt profusion as a maze of overgrown, secret paths led amongst the flowers.

Self-seeding plants are encouraged which destroys any pretence of formality or arrangement but gives rise to more surprises and delights.

The fanciful and eccentric are around every corner.

I wandered on by my serendipitous route, weaving in and out of the various gardens, never quite knowing if I was about to discover something new or find myself back where I'd started.

Sometimes I was surrounded by impenetrable vegetation while at others traditional buildings formed a sympathetic backdrop.

On and on I rambled, in and out the arches, round and round the garden. Images and memories to recall on grey winter days....which is what I intend to do with the rest of the pictures; sometime next winter, should you, me and "By Stargoose And Hanglands" survive that long, I'll share the rest of this gloriously English garden with you.

Take care. 


  1. You look like “John in floral wonderland”, and I feel like that I wandered into a secret garden following you. I do love British garden which looks haphazard but abundant. This kind of garden would require more careful attention about the placement or height and spread of plants.

  2. Oh to be in England! ... What a pretty country garden with masses of gorgeous flowers and greenery. your photos are a real treat John.

  3. I think that's my kind of garden. I admire the planning and care that goes into a formal garden, but the amount of upkeep involved makes them less than homely. Obviously there is maintenance needed in even a 'wild garden' to keep an alluring place from becoming a jungle.
    I look forward to more photos.

  4. I'm not too fond of gardens in order, even where
    dares the wind to move a leaf.
    I like the gardens full of flowers where it seems that nature has done everything.
    And I like that, the garden "English" I like it.

  5. Great photos! What a joy to wander through this garden. Thank you.

  6. Oh my gosh John, the second part of the garden was definitely worth the price of the admission surely. What a splendid example of an English garden and beautifully shown here, thank you so much.

  7. What a wonderful place, the secret gardens are so beautiful. I've heard of Docwra's Manor and I think next time I drive to Suffolk I'll go via Shepreth even though it isn't exactly en route. I hope we all three survive until the winter so that we can see more of your photos.

  8. John, your photographic skills and your ability to capture an impression and nuance continue to amaze me. You're the best! Keep wandering beautiful places.


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