Tuesday, 15 March 2016

It's no secret I'm a 'Cider With Rosie' bore. When I first read it, at the recommendation of a landlady during my studies, and having spent a childhood scrambling up valleys, jumping becks and exploring pungent woods here was a writer that took me back to the wonder I felt as a child.....bees do blow like cake crumbs and white butterflies are like sugared wafers. I bought Cider with Rosie in the 1980's, unaware that thirty years later I would be working in a place frequently mentioned in my favourite book.

My involvement with Painswick, since last summer, has been something of a pilgrimage.The sepia Gloucestershire County Record Office photographs in my Illustrated Cider with Rosie have come to life.....'Bisley Street' and the view down 'Tibbiwell' (could that be Cecil Verey's car parked on the left?). I even had lunch in the Woolpack, where many years earlier 'on a night of deep snow' private murder was impulsively plotted.

Calcot Hotels purchased Cotswold 88 last March; but the refurbishment wasn't started until October so my involvement amounted to a couple of shifts with the housekeeping team between weddings. Since then I've organised any tree work applications and the subsequent works, in addition most of the Barnsley House gardeners have been involved in new plantings. This has been an extension to my 'normal' role, a challenging; but extremely enjoyable 'add on'.

Ben, Andy and myself started the planting on the 3rd of March, aiming to get all the bigger root balled stock in  on that day, this was achieved; but working with them made me realise and feel that I am twice their age! It was an extremely physical day with Ben and Andy excelling on the difficult terraced site. A few days later we were helped by a couple of enthusiastic Painswickians with the planting, especially the 'fernery', and there have been a couple more visits by the Barnsley House gardeners, culminating in today's last visit by Andy, Eleanor, Catherine and myself.

Prospect House, Gwynfa House (David Verey, Rosemary's husband, lived here as a child when it was called Gwynfa)) and Cotswold 88.....on Monday 21st March 'the Painswick' will be officially up and running, very much alive and kicking......it is stunning! I've had a look around and it's interiors are just wonderful. Back to Barnsley now where a garden that's about to erupt awaits us.
 Eleanor, Catherine, Richard and Andy this morning in front of the alcove in the garden at 'the Painswick'.

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