Friday, January 18, 2013


Friends - Can we chat Downton Abbey? Poor Lady Edith! :( And poor Mr. Bates. Give these two a break. Pick on Thomas, go on! I was, however, pleased the family didn't have to move out of the big house. Not that Downton Place is shabby. I'd live there - crushing on it! But my favorite is still the Dowager Countess' cottage. Divine!
Dower House - This little cottage belongs to Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.
And here is Downton Place, the "smaller" house into which the family nearly moved.
Downton Place is actually Grey's Court. Below is a photo of the garden. Charming, right? See more photos here.
While fantasizing over Downton Place and Dower House, I reminisced my visit to a charming historic house: Tintinhull.

Located in Somerset, England, Tintinhull house and garden are now part of the National Trust. The 17th century manor house, built of Ham Hill limestone, has the most mellow, honey colored patina. (The house is available for lease, btw.) For 14 years, Penelope Hobhouse, the famous garden designer, author of numerous books, and horticultural grande dame, cultivated the gardens while living there.
Dear Ms. Hobhouse - I might be your biggest devotee in Washington, DC (just in case you come across my little blog). Love your books!!! :) 
Let us now tour the gardens at Tintinhull. I took these photos near the end of a summer visit.
Standing in the Middle Garden looking back at the manor house. Overall, the gardens are formal and presented in a series of outdoor rooms divided by clipped yews and stonewalls. I love the scale and found the gardens compact and relatable.
A handsome urn tucked in a corner of the Middle Garden.
Above: standing in the Eagle Court with an enfilade view out to the Fountain Garden (below).
A palette of whites, greens and silvers surround the Fountain Garden.
I was very fond of the series of outdoor rooms divided by shrubbery and stonewalls.
Here is the Pool Garden, which was once a tennis court. Notice the pavilion at the end of the axis. Grapevines are trained around the opening.
A lovely framed view courtesy of a cut-out doorway through the yew hedge. A double border of shrub roses and dianthuses. 
Bay topiaries and amazingly healthy lavender.


  1. Oh my, what an amazing garden and what an honor to be able to tour it. The English do know a thing or two about gardens, don't they? My favorite spot on your tour has to be the pool garden. Much better than any old tennis court, that's for sure.

    As for Downton, I agree that the dowager countess' home is oh so charming but you're not going to make me like Edith, are you? Although I did so love her line, "Spinsters get up for breakfast" this week.

  2. Tintinhull is gorgeous...lucky you (great photos and I am sure, memories). I cannot get enough of Downton Abbey...fortunately, it's a program my husband and I both agree on during football season.

  3. You captured Tintinhull beautifully, Loi! I hope to visit there some day. You seem to have visited many of the National Trust properties, we would love to see them all too! I used to love Penelope Hobhouse's tv show, it might have been filmed there.

    We look so forward to Downton Abbey each week. Each episode flies by, doesn't it?. We are now watching it a second time the following day so that the scenery and sets are better appreciated.

  4. I agree, the dower house used for DA is very pretty, and much more manageable than Highclere Castle, (Downton Abbey). But I must say Tintinhull, (apart from having a delightful name), is very pretty indeed. Both house and garden.

  5. Hello Loi, Tintinhull is a house (and garden) of utter charm. The whole place looks beautifully maintained. So often historic houses are "in the process" of renovation and you have to use your imagine to see the place intact, but this house is an idyll. Of course, I like the venerable, decayed, or ruined looks also, but that is a different experience.
    --Road to Parnassus

  6. Stunning house and garden really!!
    Garden is wonderfully designed, however, rich but not over the top!!
    Beautiful photos Loi! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hello Loi,
    Thank you for sharing your photos of Tintinhull and reminding us of the beautiful houses and gardens we are lucky enough to have here.
    As most of the the UK is covered in snow, I can imagine the garden to look as stunning now as then.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Liz x

  8. Dear Loi - as a member of the NT I cannot believe that I have not visited Tintinhull, and it is actually only a short journey from me!!! Things will be remedied come the better weather. Thank you for bringing it to my attention - I notice from my handbook that it is very near to wonderful Montecute too.
    On this snowy day it is lovely to reflect on your photos and dream about the coming spring.

  9. This is only about an hour from me and I too can't believe I have never visited. My favourites, the cut through Yew and the silvery lavender beds. How beautiful!
    Thanks for the wonderful tour Loi, you're the best :-)

  10. Loi I wouldn't dare chat about Downton, we are too far on over here it would spoil it for you. Oh yes the Dower House please, I could live there. But Tintinhull, it is divine, I have never been. We are members of the National Trust and despite the fact they sometimes get scolded for a slightly corporate look about their properties I think they do a fine job.

    Downton makes me want to whip out the beeswax polish and live in a house built from golden stone, scented by old roses and lavender, plus a maid and possibly a cook too. Wonderful breakfasts on a tea tray with folding legs, and to keep Lady Grantham happy proper marmalade too. bliss.

  11. Loi, I have seen a version of the photo from Eagle Court to the Fountain Garden many times. Thanks for a tour of the entire garden. All those rooms remind me of both Hidcote and Sissinghurst on a more intimate scale.

  12. Oh Loi,

    You have plucked a chord in my heart today, but you always do! When I saw that you had a new post, my heart literally skipped a beat of JOY!

    NOW.....DOWNTON ABBY IS OUR LATEST CRUSH. We have been watching all of season three so far (on-line) and I cannot tell you how much I have fallen in love with each room of Downton Abby, each tea set, the gardens, the CLOTHING....and being a Francophile, I have never given English culture or design a chance. Downton has done it for me and being a lover of LUSH GREEN gardens, you have showcased yet another side of the English landscape that has sealed my recent admiration, like a love letter sealed with a kiss. The patina of the homes, the perfectly laid out allés of the gardens gives me a new reason to go back to Europe and make England my destination.

    OH THAT SCENE with Lady Sybil dying! WE WERE ON THE EDGE OF OUR SEATS! I loved the cricket match and how everyone came to Thomas's aid. Reconciliation and redemption at its best.

    LOVE TO YOU ! Anita

  13. Hello Loi

    We are enjoying Episode three of Downton Abby on PBS.
    I love your images of Tintinhull and can see why you love it. The water garden being my favourite. Thank you for this delightful post and wishing you a wonderful week

    Helen xx

  14. Really, poor Edith and Mr. Bates! But I agree regarding Downton Place...not too shabby! Thanks for the tour Loi, of Tintinhull. It looks like a wonderful place and these photos have me looking forward to spring.


  15. OMG! There should be a spoiler alert!

    I was disappointed the family wasn't going to be moving to Downton Place. I was excited to see the interior of that amazing home.

    Thank you not only for knowing these places but for sharing your photos of these gorgeous gardens. What amazing sight lines everywhere! I can't wait to finish the outside of my house so I can rip out the gardens and start from scratch. I've learned so much just looking at these amazing gardens. I need to get a copy of these books.

    Beautiful post!

  16. Absolutely stunning house and garden - I would happily move in right now. I am going to London on Sunday, this trip will be spent entirely in the city. Tintinhull will be on my must see list for a summer visit. There is nothing I like more than touring historic houses and gardens. Have a wonderful weekend!

  17. The house at Tintinhull is my dream house but Downton Place would OK too. I agree that they need to start picking on Thomas.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  18. Hello Loi:
    Penelope Hobhouse's books are indeed wonderfully informative. She is a rare combination of an academic and a practical gardener and her books combine both with elegance and intelligence.She visited us many years ago now when we gardened in Herefordshire and we had a wonderful time together discussing gardens, gardeners and all things horticultural. Her most important piece of advice that we have remembered ever since is to 'look up' and see what is happening with the shapes being formed with the sky. Far too often, gardeners simply look downwards and never raise their heads!!

    Tintinhull was wonderful when under the stewardship of Penelope Hobhouse but, we found on subsequent visits, that the magic was missing as no-one seemed to have the same eye for detail or to really know the plants well enough to understand what will thrive there. That said, the formal structure is good and the house is delightful.

    1. Lucky you!! I'd love a chance to chat with Penelope Hobhouse. Great advice! It's true, I'm always looking down. I loved the bones at Tintinhull.

  19. Master Loi...that is what they would call you in UK(I think.)Tintinhull, hmmm, have never been there but you have, so I can look at your images and enjoy them! Being enamored with Downton Abbey, I can say this about that "I adore everything about it." Grand post. Thank you for leaving sweet comments on my blog.

  20. I have "traveled" through your eyes to wonderful, magical places! This trip was one of the best!
    I WILL start watching Downton Abbey. I think I am the only soul alive that doesn't! I just heard about it two weeks ago! Guess I've been hidden away. Will catch up on the other seasons on line.
    Thank you Loi for the gorgeous Post.....I enjoyed the Trip!

  21. After viewing these marvelous images...I'm ready for a "spot of tea!" franki

  22. Well, I'll try again...blogger has been zapping my comments! Hope I remember all I said!

    This is fabulous Loi! I am a very loyal/obsessed Downton fan, or as my husband teases me, "Downtown Abbey".

    Have you watched the documentary on PBS of Highclere Castle? You must! In fact, I am thinking of purchasing "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle " on the PBS site.

    Your photos are lovely. In fact, I would like a coffee table book filled with images of the many gardens you have visited.

    These photos allow me to see the inspiration you have had for your own garden....the tones, the topiaries, the hedges, the order, the details...


    1. Thank you, Monica. I'll look into the PBS documentary. Thanks for the tip :)

  23. OMG Loi, I love watching Downton Abbey too. Every Sunday night, I am seated loyally at my sofa watching the show. What happened to Lady Edith being ditched at he Altar was a shocker. I felt for her but then she forced Sir Anthony to really marry her despite his and her father, Lord Grantham's concerns. I wonder now how her story will carry out? Who will be the man for her? More exciting story tomorrow night on Downtown Abbey. Also, I love The Dowager Duchess. She is the best there! When I also saw her house featured there, I also felt that I could live at Dower House. I also love Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary. Their wedding scene was so short! Looks like we could both go on and on talking about Downton Abbey,,,

    Your garden photos of Tintinhull are gorgeous. I feel like I'm in those beautiful English country gardens. Next time I visit England, I really have to make an effort to go beyond London. Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. Oh dear Loi, you made my day!! I adore these kind of English housese!And of course I just love the serie Downtonw Abbey! Wonderful pictures Loi! Amazing!
    Have a great weekend!

  25. Hi Loi-
    Your photos are beautiful and I especially love the photos of lavender gardens! My absolute favorite.
    XO Sarah

  26. Thanks for taking us AWAY Loi! I would enjoy seeing this in person. There was a documentary on last week about this.. did you see it? Unfortunately I wasn't able to see it in its entirety. Such an interesting life back in those days!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  27. Such beauty to behold.
    And the grounds are amazing.
    Thank you for sharing.

  28. Hello, Loi - I can see so much of your own garden in these photographs. There's so much to be inspired by here, but for me, the most impressive element is that incredible yew hedge — gorgeous!

  29. Absolutely beautiful. I guess I need to start watching downtown Abbey, I am afraid I am missing out on something here! I love the garden, it so fun to visit these historic homes , the amount of work that goes into them is beyond belief.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


  30. The gardens are absolute perfection! I need to get Ms. Hobhouse's books as my gardens need some renovating, though I doubt anything she plants will be hardy here.

    David and I have rewatched Season 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey about 6 times and we are not watching Season 3 on TV, but awaiting the DVD from Amazon, which will arrive in early February. Then, like addicts, we will watch it over a single weekend (or maybe evening). Every time I see the Dower house I proclaim "I love that house". It is stunning. It does appear that they film inside the Dower house, as the windows look the same inside and out, but perhaps it is a set.

    Have you also noticed when they show the front of the Dower house that sometimes the lower floor windows are in different positions, and these are reflected INSIDE during the ensuing scene? So not sure if they are actually filming inside (I somehow doubt it...should research this), but at least the person taking care of continuity is doing a good job.

    I would love to visit Tintinhull and thank you for taking us there.

    xo Terri

  31. I am a huge Downton Abbey fan, and I would gladly live in any of the houses, but I love the cottage best too! Tintinhull, and it's lovely gardens, makes me want to move!


  32. Oh, the beauty of an English country house! Tintinhull and it's gardens are lovely. And although Lady Mary turned up her pretty nose at Downton Place, I rather like it and would love to take tea with Lady Violet at Dower house. I am sorry for poor Edith - even after that business over Mr. Pamuk, she doesn't deserve such bad luck. Sorry to be so absent of late, I've been dealing with a family emergency for the past month or so, but little hops back into blogland do cheer me immensely. I've so enjoyed this beautiful post and an imaginary walk through an English garden!!

    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I hope all is good. Take care, Loi

  33. These gardens are stunning. I have always loved the concept of garden rooms and they are done very successfully at Tintinhull.

  34. Loi,
    Be still my heart! I noticed one of the books was on "Smaller Gardens". I will look that up. I love the gardens you've shared.
    I always laugh at period movies that show the "cottage" as a relatively large manor house. Granted, it isn't the mansion, but who would want to deal with all those rooms anyway. Give me the dowager's house anyday. :-)
    This is a fun post!

  35. You made my day Loi. Ever since I bought Penelope Hobhouse's Garden Design book featuring Tintinhll, I have dreamed of going there. It is definitely on my "list" of gardens I must visit. Looking at your photos was like looking at the book. They are just lovely. I love this post! Thank you, thank you , thank you. Cheers!

    P.S. Penelope Hobhouse filmed a DVD series about garden design that I borrowed from my local library. If you don't have it already Loi, I think you would love it. She even interviews Rosemary Verey in her garden at Barnsley House and takes you on a tour of her Dorset garden. What happened to Penelope Hobhouse? I can't find anything recent about her online. Her website appears terribly outdated. I just adore her work!

    1. Hi, Susan - Thank you for the DVD suggestion. I would love to watch Rosemary and Penelope talk garden!! Will check it out.

  36. omg the yew hedge. all these outdoor rooms are enchanting and a reminder that i have no talent or eye for creating such lush lovely. luckily i am a decent negotiator with the landscaper. what a talent Ms. Hobhouse is!

    peace to you.


  37. Dearest Loi!

    Oh you too love creatures both great and small? :)

    I thank you kindly for coming to spend a bit of time chez moi; it is a windy and icy cold night here in Minneapolis and it is the right moment to reflect on what Spring is bringing us as we observe in wonder. I was telling my husband about your fantastic post for we are Downton Abby lovers and we took a sneak peak at the Christmas Special for season three and you MUST see the castle and grounds for that one my dear. You will want to fly off to the Highlands NOW!

    Big hugs to you, Anita

  38. Love the garden rooms and how inviting they have made them....very beautiful!

  39. I must confess I have never seen Downtown Abby. I have no idea what the rave is all about! Im too busy right now with animal management, but I should tape some shows and watch them. I DO KNOW that your photos NEVER disappoint and that you write the most amazing things, and show the most amazing images Loi, and I thank you for your inspiration. Your garden photos make me want to be a better gardner, and that is a worthy goal with all this potential I have on these 6 acres. If you ever need some practice, come on over!
    Thanks for your comments on Gibbs, he is the sweetest thing! I trimmed Nicky's bangs right after you wrote that!! funny. He will be going to the groomer next week.
    Take care, dear friend and I hope you have a lovely day off tomorrow.
    Hope you see you soon.
    xo Nancy

  40. Wonderful post!!

    Thank you! :Love the doors Brooke and Steve bought from you!!


  41. Loi, This wonderful yours Photos!

    All Gardens, flowers, Houses, Big Images!

    Have a good weekend my Friend, thans for visiting!


  42. Poor Edith indeed!

    What a spectacular home...and the the rounded shrubs....everything....thank you for sharing these photos!
    I'll take any of these lovely manors, thank you very much....
    A girl can dream! :)
    I hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing weekend, dear Loi...
    Enjoy Downton this Sunday!
    All the best,
    - Irina

  43. Loi,

    Stunning photos of gorgeous grounds. I could spend a whole summer here and never want to leave. I love how the garden is laid out with all it's garden wonders. Love the lavender and all the color contrasts. Spring is on the horizon once again and we await the promises of new life. So lovely thanks!


  44. the architecture and landscape are amazing! that last photo with the lavender is so dreamy.... i have always thought british cottages seem so quaint. my great grandmother was british, and i have yet to go to england.... one day! these images make me want that one day to come sooner!

  45. Dear Loi, I have always admired Penelope Hobhouse and have several books as well...this post was such fun to read, and like all avid gardeners the winter season has us all as armchair dreamers and planners of what we would love in our own gardens...I have been a Downton Abbey junkie since the onset....wonderful isn't it? N.xo

  46. Hi Loi, sit down...I have never seen Downton Abbey. I love English gardens and visited many when I lived in the UK. Have you ever made it to the Chelsea Flower Show in May?

  47. Hello Loi, I couldn't agree with you more about Lady Edith and Mr. Bates. Thomas is such a scoundrel, but he'll get his eventually! I love your photos of Tintinhull. What a gorgeous garden and your photography is wonderful. Have fun watching Downton Abbey this evening! I know we will.

  48. I have to say that I prefer Tintinhull to all of the Downton Abbey houses. The architecture is more to my taste. What divine photos -- I'm off to pin your amazing photography!

  49. Hello Loi,
    Such a beautiful house and garden, giving us a lot of inspiration. Your photographs are really wonderful. I also have not heard of this garden before. It has made me dream a lot! I am lucky enough (even in France!) to be waiting for season 4 of Downton, it's really good!
    Hope you are both doing well.
    Best wishes,

  50. May I say, I'm in love??? Such a beautiful garden. Of course with Penelope Hobhouse at the helm, that is exactly what one would expect. I'm such a huge Downton fan.....right along with millions of others of course. Sunday night the place to be is curled up on the sofa waiting for my little passport to take me back to the beauty and splendor of Downton Abbey. I would be just as happy in either of the 'smaller homes' as well, but I just don't know where I would put all of my servants!!!!

  51. Oh how I have enjoyed this post. I have FINALLY started to watch Downton Abbey from the very beginning just two nights ago. What a treat, delight, thrill and tease all at once. We (my honey and I) watched the first three episodes and can't wait to keep going. Thank you so much for this lovely post that served as a lovely eye candy distraction filled with facts until we start watching again.
    Love your blog Loi!!! Love love love it.

  52. Hi Loi,
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos of the sublime Tintinhull! I, too, am a fan of Ms. Hobhouse - what an eye!
    Yes, poor Edith, and she was such a lovely bride!

  53. Loi!
    Tintinhull is impeccable! How wonderful that you were able to tour it! Also, your photographs are beautiful! I have ti blame motherhood for being the only one who is yet to watch Downtown Abbey:-(. I hope to remedy that soon-ish. This was a wonderful post! XX

  54. Those Gardens! That pool! Love it all. Thanks for an amazing post, Loi-and thanks to all your commenters, I always learn a thing or two as I read :)

    As far as Lady Edith goes, well she DID throw her sister Lady Mary under the bus so to speak in season one, didn't she? Maybe she should beware of karma, lol.

  55. The gardens are magical. Love seeing the world through your lense! And the show...obsessed with Downton!!

    1. Well said! I am an obsessed fan too of DA....

  56. Ciao Loi,
    quanta bellezza è tutto un'incanto....ogni immagine mi regala una dolce emozione.Grazie!
    Dell'ultima immagine mi piacerebbe tanto fare un dipinto.
    Ti auguro una serena ed allegra settimana.
    Un caro saluto:)

  57. Uma casa dos sonhos. Que jardim maravilhoso. Amo essas casas inglesas. Essa casa tem muito anos acumulando belezas. Obrigada me deste inspiração para melhorar meu jardim.
    Tenha uma ótima semana.

  58. What a great blog you have! Just came across it and glad I did. I'm addicted to DA, I tape it and watch it 2-3 times during the week. Great photos!

    1. Welcome, Katie. I hope you'll visit again. Thanks so much!! Cheers, Loi

  59. A truly stunning series of images. I very much appreciate your intertwining of house and gardens. Expertly done and a feast for the eyes.

    1. Many thanks!! I really appreciate your visit. Your work is truly exquisite. Cheers, Loi

  60. I am not surprised that you have discovered another treasure. The gardens are absolutely stunning!
    I am so happy to learn I have yet another Downton friend. Isn't it amazing?!!
    Happy Monday.

  61. Your beautiful pictures of the charming gardens warm my cold bones! We just love the casual elagance of English country gardens. Hoping your week is off to a great start!

  62. Dear Loi, thank you for sharing these beautiful and inspiring images! I'm hooked on DA as well and enjoy the views of the interiors and gardens.... Sigh... The palette of glowers reminded mr of your own lovely gardens. With all the snow, these pictures are even more wonderful to see--thank you!
    Warm regards,

  63. Well Loi , you know I love Downton Abbey, but I may be won over with this amazing place! Be still my heart these gardens are like a dream, if I could just have my little side garden be half as wonderful I would be thrilled!!
    XO Karolyn

  64. Oh, Loi, the gardens are exquisite and your images show them beautifully. Love all of the gorgeous stone paths and greenery covered walls - perfection!

  65. It's all so lovely. I love all things English it seems! Sigh. I'd so love to turn our yard into an English garden setting.

  66. Dear Loi,
    As I'm probably the only one in the world who is not watching Downton Abbey :-( I cannot "chat" about...
    But I love, love Tintinhull! The gardens - oh my these gardens! Heaven!!!
    Will check-out the rates and my purse, maybe for a weekend, sometimes when I'm in England again. Have you visit the place? Could not figure it out.
    Thank you very much indeed for this uplifting post!
    Warm greetings,

    1. Sorry, just looked all the wonderful images again and realized that you've taken the photos. So, you were there!!!

  67. Hello loi,

    These gardens are a big inspiration for me, it's looks like haeven (I think )

    Thanks for sharing al this beauty

  68. Loi

    What a great idea for a post. I love Penelope Hobhouse and have every one of her books. She was a great source of inspiration when I planted my rose garden.

  69. Loi,
    I'm in love with these gardens!!! Just knowing that they have been tended for many years is impressive. And, I like your reference to them being relatable. I think scale really homes, gardens. To be enveloped by a space is such a treat. I'd happily be enveloped there!!!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  70. Downton is such a fun escape! All that grandeur! Thanks for your visit and kind comments today. It's fun to know the things that catch your eye in my home...and lovely to connect with people who notice the details like you do!

  71. So stunning! I am addicted to the show (along with hordes of others)....not a bad one in this house bunch! I have to show my husband this post, he is kind of obsessed with beautiful gardens so I know this would be a royal treat for him! Not only are they just beautiful, but they are not crazily overdone....scale is everything and this is about as perfect as it gets. Hope Penelope does happen to cross your path one day. Just gorgeous Loi!

  72. Dear Loi,

    I could live in the Dower with no problems at all. There might even be room for AGA if he is good.

    These are very nice photographs of Tintinhull. You have a good photographic eye.

    We have Penelope' H's Garden Design book too and please don't be too jealous if I tell you that my younger sister once undertook a garden design course taught by PH...

    Bye for now


  73. Thanks a lot, it is a feast for the eye. We have brown and dormant vegetation and very cold temperatures around here......

  74. Gorgeous and intricate garden design blog.

  75. I love Downton Abbey too, Loi -- my guiltiest of pleasures! Have watched every episode at least twice, trying to devour every little detail... I think the music is beautiful -- I have the cd of the soundtrack, and you are going to laugh that I like to play it when I am in the kitchen cleaning or cooking -- I would just love to be in the Downton Abbey kitchen! All the characters are interesting to me, but I especially love the Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith, who is wonderful in everything! I wish I could remember her zingers to use sometimes in my life! It is amazing to see the actors out of character when they are doing interviews.

    Love your photos of the Tintinhull house and gardens -- it's hard to believe that just one gardener could do all that! Especially love the door in the outdoor wall, which looks like it is right out of "The Secret Garden"... the stone paths, terrace and walls -- it is all beautiful!

  76. Beautiful!

  77. Lordy!! And YOWZERS!!!

    Such a beautiful post on (another) Penelope! How completely talented she is! (I bet no one ever called her "Penny")!!!

    You have such a wonderful blog!

    I love it! Thank you for all your efforts!


  78. Such beautiful gardens. Really magical. It's no wonder you are drawn to this Loi. Thanks for sharing!

  79. I have been under the weather for the past week and felt too weak to even visit.....but what a visual treat you had waiting for me. I'm feeling stronger as we speak!! I would love to visit these beautiful treasures and hope to soon. Thanks for a delightful post Loi. Have a fabulous week!

  80. Oh dearest Loi.....I CAUGHT YOUR HEARTS! teehee.....THANK YOU so much my dear for coming by to see my latest little scribbles! It has been fun, and I had a blast making GIFS (the term for moving images). My dream is to use a little writing with my art, but in a MOVING make animations.

    My husband was able to find a way to download ALL of season three of Downton Abby and so we were able to watch up to episode eight. Since this, I have fallen in love with STERLING SILVER all over again and have pulled out some old pieces that I have stored away. I have bought some silver plate trays and now I am being influenced by YOUR great décor, of which I cannot get enough!

    I cannot wait for spring to see your garden and I just may plant some climbing roses. Oh Downton, YOU HAVE INFLUENCED ME!

    Have a super day Loi...Love is in the air! Anita

  81. Hi Loi,
    Did you see Sibyl's death scene last night? And her mother's good-by? I wept buckets. Do you think Fellowes did not know how to deal with Sibyl's Irish decision or did the actress have another film commitment? Whatever - it was a very moving episode. And why is Mary being such a cool cucumber? We'll have to wait and see.

    Well, Loi, you've done it again and posted about one of my favorite gardeners and her Tintinhull gardens. I have only read about Hobhouse's gardens and watched a series of her videos, but you have seen them in person. Thanks for being such a good eye witness and for sharing such lovely photos. I didn't know which to pin first.

  82. Loi, I could've sworn I'd already commented on this…but…after not seeing it I will attempt to comment again. You never cease to amaze me with your most wonderful posts…whether it be home design, garden design, or chic drama design…you are always in the know and always over the top with wonderful ideas! I admire your taste so much! And yes….I would take either of these "2nd hand" cottages in a heartbeat! I am loving Downton again this season…even if I HATED last nights outcome!!! I was literally in tears! And yet, I already was in tears so this just made it worse! But what a wonderful show! What wonderful scenery! I'm loving every minute of it! Take care and enjoy your week ahead!

  83. Just stopping by to say hello friend:-). xx

  84. I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart, so I LOVE this post. More than these beautiful houses and gardens, I just love the everyday English garden, very neat and tidy and the beautiful plantings alongside the fences, and the grass is very green even in the winter. An English garden, nothing better!

  85. Hi Loi! I've been through this post at least 3 times. England has my heart in terms of history, gardens and architecture. Thanks for such a great piece of reading and eye candy.


  86. Loi.....these grounds are stunning. I hope my neighbor doesn't see these pictures because she might try and step up her game just to irritate me:)

  87. what a joy to revisit this glorious garden. loved the days when it was in penelope's hands, at times you could see her in the gardens where she held court, graciously absorbing the accolades. i remember her as affable, humble and approachable. in the days prior to computers i called an enquired if i could bring my group inside for a tour. she quickly replied "YES, of course, let me check the date". unfortunately it did not correspond and the following year she had left. when you next go loi, never hesitate to ask "may we have lunch with you?", "may we have a private tour?", etc. i came to know well rosemary verey (not very nice) and christopher lloyd that way

    thanks for bringing forth such lovely memories

  88. I enjoy your lovely posts and your aesthetic. I am delighted to enter your contest, but even more pleased to enjoy the thoughts you share about gracious living. Cindy Adams

  89. Just found your blog - it is lovely and the painting is wonderful, too! Thank you, Lee

  90. One of the best interior design blogs .

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  92. Hi, lovely pictures. I am a descendant of a former owner Jeremiah Penny and have a clipping of how he had his gardeners digging out a pond when they came across a Dinosaur skeleton - an Ichthyosaurus. I have been there from New Zealand, but the House as closed and I wondered if they mention this find? 22feet a fish reptile (alligator head with paddles and fish tail), wonder where it is now!

  93. Tintinhull is absolutely my favorite garden in the UK. We have stayed on the property 3 times in the past few years and it never ceases to make me happy every time I enter the gate. After taking thousands of my own pictures of the garden in various light conditions and states of bloom we all concur: You have captured it beautifully!

  94. Always loved both the Dowager's House & also the home the Crawley's lived in. Great read here… stunning photos.


Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi