Home, home in the rain

Today’s picture shows the market cross in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, built in 1490.

Malmesbury Cross

Although we spent  most of the day driving the 323 miles home, we did have time to stop in Malmesbury.  As well as a market cross, Malmesbury has a fine 12th century abbey….

Malmesbury Abbey

…with an elaborately carved front door…

Malmesbury Abbey

…and (handy for the thirsty worshipper) what claims to be England’s oldest hotel right next door.

Malmesbury Abbey

 We weren’t there for the beer or the worship.  Our target was the Abbey House gardens.  This is the garden of ‘The Naked Gardeners’ Ian & Barbara Pollard and at this time of the year, we were hoping to see a fine display of tulips.  We were not disappointed.

tulip bed

tulip bed

There were tulips of every description.



There were some lovely formal parts of the garden with well clipped hedges and topiary.

clipped hedges

With vista in all directions.


The Abbey House itself is very charming and forms a backdrop to the garden.

Abbey House

Abbey House

At the rear of the house, a woodland garden runs down a steep slope to the river Avon below.

river stepping stones
Mrs Tootlepedal and I bravely crossed the river on these stepping stones

The Abbey house gardens specialise in weddings and we saw a bride and groom getting professionally photographed on a bridge across the river.

Wedding photo

The bride explained that they had been recently married there but that the weather had been very bad and spoiled the wedding photographs so they were making up for it by taking new ones on a better day.  Curious.

We looked at the back of the house towering over us on its steep bank.

Abbey House

The bank was covered with primroses of various sorts…


…and apart from the tulips there was plenty to catch the eye as we walked round.

Beside the river
Beside the river
Near the small cafe
Near the small cafe
There were many artistic pieces around the garden, both ancient and modern
A fine fritillary

When we walked back into the town, I enjoyed two very modern signs on two old buildings.


The warmth of the sunshine and the beauty of the garden stayed with us as we drove on up the M5 and M6.  We needed a cheerful image to sustain us as the traffic was very heavy and we were often reduced to a crawl and, on top of that, the weather got progressively worse as we drove north until, when we finally arrived at Wauchope Cottage, it was raining heavily.

We hadn’t been in the house for two minutes before Mrs Tootlepedal was out and at work in the greenhouse.

Some plants had arrived while we were away and speedy action was required.

I filled up the bird feeders which had been looked after by our neighbour Liz while I was away and was rewarded with a rather gloomy but traditional flying bird of the day shot just before it got too dark to shoot.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Home, home in the rain

    1. I’m usually unimpressed by artwork in gardens, feeling that it is hard to improve on nature but the walking fish really tickled my fancy for once.

  1. You have seen some beautiful scenery. My mom and dad’s wedding photo, which I have on my wall, I found out has my mom 6 mos. pregnant with my eldest sister. Apparently, it was raining on their wedding day, and so like your couple above, they chose a different day to get the photographs done. Hmm. Could have caused some excitement if I’d notice so many years ago.

    1. I was wondering about the wedding photos. They must be going to confuse people in later years who were sure it was raining when their friends got married.

  2. Now that you’re home, I’ll start leaving comments again. I decided about halfway through your vacation that you could spend more time relaxing, and less time online if you didn’t have to reply to as many comments. I did enjoy both your photos and the stories, your vacation ended too quickly, I’m sure you feel the same.

  3. A note to keen gardeners. The Garden of Celestial Speculations is open to the public one day per year. Portrack House, near Thornhill. Sunday 5th May. Good speculating, Tom.


  4. Great pictures of Malmesbury and the Abbey Gardens look very well worth a visit – wonderful tulips, topiary and a lovely setting. Glad you got back safely after that long drive. Hope the garden will be enjoying the rain.

  5. You can tell I’ve been gone awhile, I didn’t even know you went on vacation! Glad you had a safe journey, the photos are amazing! Next week I am returning to Austin Texas, I’m told the wildflowers are in bloom!

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