The thing which lifts my spirits in the cold wet spring is first, a ray of sunshine, and second colour!

And yes, that does include green. Spring green:

Spring green

But most of all, something with real pow!

Camassia at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

And, I confess, when we are about to have visitors, I feel desperate for lots of flowers and colour in the garden for them. 

So it doesn’t surprise me much seeing a lot of  Great Dixter on Instagram, being much admired and enjoyed. 

It is loved and you will have come across it often: Marianne, Allen and Allen’s grandaughter love Dixter enormously. 

However, despite its amazing reputation and fame, it is not the garden which gets the most praise from the (other) most sophisticated and knowledgeable garden professionals. The real favourite, absolutely best garden is in total contrast – it is Very Green. 

It’s Rousham.

Now this marks me out as a philistine and I’m taking my chances on being dismissed forever as any kind of serious garden lover, but it leaves me cold. 

I think I’ve referred to it before in the context of its statues. This one is set to be viewed from the windows of the house. Nice to have with your morning toast.

Statue of horse and lion at Rousham, copyright Charles Hawes

Yes, the lion is having a big bite.

But most people, I think, ignore that these days.

You don’t hear much about it. No, what is admired is the garden itself. If you want to hear the reverential tone which is commonly used to describe it, and have a Monty Don tour of the highlights, here is a video.

Or here is my hero, Tim Richardson, telling you how amazing it is.

Mostly, it is like this:

Rousham copyright Charles Hawes

There are bushes, trees, classical style buildings and statues.

Rousham copyright Anne Wareham

And a rather nice rill. (and yes, that is that photographer again)

It has a rather cool pool.

Pool at Rousham copyright Charles Hawes

and a rather murky one

Pool at Rousham copyright Charles Hawes

 This view, with the goose?  scurrying away from the rather precarious and chilly woman, makes me giggle.

Rousham copyright Anne Wareham

(My picture, hence rather blurry. Thank you, Charles for your contributions)

I don’t think that it is the ornamental garden beyond this that is the admired bit – it is not referenced at all by Monty Don and I don’t think the designer, William Kent, was responsible for it. It has a slightly familiar feel:

Rousham copyright Charles Hawes

This is really not what Rousham is about. But it is at Rousham. Doesn’t do it for me, either. (Fusspot)

So, you will have gathered, that I don’t understand the enormous admiration for this garden.

It’s (mostly) pleasant. I like woodland and views of the British countryside well enough, but they are not in short supply. Statues and classical buildings not so much. A meandering rill is sweet.

My question for you is this – can you illuminate me?

What makes this garden so special? Do you really prefer the greenness to the kind of colour which makes Dixter also so very popular? Which would you rather?

Would you be disappointed, do you fear, if you were taken there, to see one of the Very Greatest Gardens?

But, confession time: I did do a takeaway:

Seat at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

It’s not that Rousham has seats – it does, but not many, I think. It’s the flat laurel. I’ve used it to enclose this seat.