Losing our Inhibitions at Abbey House Gardens
We’d heard about Malmesbury’s world-famous Abbey House Gardens and we were very excited at the opportunity of photographing the five-acre location for their new virtual tour.
However, knowing this was the home of the famous ‘naked gardeners’ Ian and Barbara Pollard, we couldn’t help that feeling of trepidation that it just might be a ‘clothes optional’ day when we arrived.
To our relief, it wasn’t.
The Gardens hold around seven of these a year, when visitors are welcome to walk around wearing little or no clothing, and only during the warmer months. So we guessed we were pretty safe on a chilly November morning.
The Pollards have lived in the 16th century Abbey House in Wiltshire since 1995, and they’ve worked tirelessly over many years to transform the beautiful gardens, which have been planted to show colour and interest all the year round. They are open to the public and draw in thousands of visitors a year.
Alan Titchmarsh himself summed the location up after visiting with the BBC’s Gardeners World in 2002 by saying “The Wow factor is here in abundance”.
And it most certainly is.
Explore at Leisure
We took more than 2,000 photographs to produce such a sizeable tour.
There are so many different areas to explore; the well-tended lawns, fish ponds, herb garden, laburnum tunnel and herbaceous borders on the upper level, with steps leading down to the river Avon and surrounding natural woodlands, returning back up the hill past the waterfall.
With Abbey House Gardens playing host to many weddings, the rustic charm of the inside of the Belvedere room can also be experienced, decorated and set out ready for a ceremony.
Tulips & Roses
Said Ian Pollard, “We knew that business tours had been produced for some of our local High Street shops and we felt it would be lovely if our gardens could also be enjoyed in this way.
“We are thinking about the possibility of having further pictures through the seasons, to include some of our 350,000 tulip bulbs which are due to flower in the spring and then more than 2,000 different roses later in the year.”
This is a garden where nature and history can be experienced together. A religious site for centuries, it’s easy to imagine the monks of old from Malmesbury’s adjacent 7th century Abbey taking a peaceful stroll through the grounds of Abbey House.
Take a look at their virtual tour below and their website
, and then we recommend a visit in person.
An enjoyable few hours can be lost in the most wonderful surroundings.
And, who knows, perhaps a few of our inhibitions too.
Date: 09 April 2014
Author: The 360 Company