Sunday, August 26, 2012

The James Bond Garden Tour

I recently popped over to Plant Postings to read about the amazing garden tour of Italy Beth is planning for herself and other bloggers. I just returned from a garden tour to England and eagerly wish I could join Beth's group.

As with most things I do, my tour was a bit unconventional. I could have chosen as my guide a famed landscape designer or horticulturalist but I wanted a different perspective. By hiring James Bond I never had to wait in line for anything and was able to travel by jet pack and Aston Martin. Since Bond is an expert on almost everything, it came as no surprise that he is an excellent gardener, too.


Are there any plants in this picture? I hadn't noticed.

Our first stop was at Barnsley House Gardens in the Cotswolds. Created to be a personal garden by a world renowned horticulturalist, this lush garden covers three acres and includes a knot garden and potager. I swooned over the fullness of the plantings and lounged around the beautiful pond.




As it neared time to leave, I noticed Bond was nowhere to be seen. I snuck quietly around corners and looked behind bushes to see if I could find him. Worried about how I was going to get a martini and a ride to the next garden, I finally found him standing by the cabbages. His sleeves rolled up and dirt smudging his handmade Italian suit, a small razor edged cultivator poked from the tips of his expensive shoes. Digging the cultivator into the weeds surrounding the vegetables, he ripped the roots from the soil, retracted the cultivator, and walked coolly by. 


Cerney House Garden

Our next stop was the Cerney House gardens, also in the Cotswolds. Described by an English gardening magazine as "not for those who like everything tickety-boo", I worried that James might not love the garden as much as I did. "James, " I ventured, "Aren't you coming or do you like everything tickety-boo? Is the garden a bit too exuberant for you?" He stared off into the distance while slowly unscrewing the headlight from his Aston Martin. A long narrow headed spade emerged from behind the light, a pair of gardening gloves tied tightly around the handle. Slipping the headlight back into place, he walked slowly toward me, and whispered in my ear, "I love it when you say tickety-boo."



A large organic garden, Cerney House features a meadow, orchard, and a walled garden surrounded by mature trees. Richly layered elongated plantings tumble over each other to create a relaxed garden paradise.




Our last stop before I jetted back to the States, was a stop at Beatrix Potters Lake district home. Long an admirer of her brilliant children's stories, I'd wanted to visit her home and garden for years. Tempted to cozy up to Bond whispering "tickety-boo", I restrained myself and wandered her vegetable patch. Once again he disappeared as I watched for naughty rabbits and talkative mice. Alone in the garden, I took photos and hummed to myself. As I bent to take a closer shot, a grizzled hand thrust suddenly into view, a small rabbit dangling from its grip.



"Drop the rabbit, McGregor". James stood behind the old man, a saber protruding from the handle of a metal rake. "He's been eating my garden! I want rabbit stew for dinner tonight.", the man complained as he loosened his fingers. "I wouldn't recommend it", James responded, his voice detached and icy. "Why?" McGregor asked. "How do you like your rabbits?" "Shaken but not stirred," replied James. "No one eats Peter."  He lowered the saber as the rabbit ran under the melons, the old man cursing and kicking, clay pottery in chunks at his feet. I stood to the side, in shock. Where had he been hiding the saber rake and where could I get one? Doubtful I be able to get a shoe cultivator, headlight shovel or saber rake past airport security, I made a mental to note to ask him if the British government could ship them to me.

The visit over, I headed back to the car. Pausing by the hedge that ran along the side of the garden, I noticed James up to his elbows in an overgrown shrub. Grasping the severed limbs, he thrust his pruners up his sleeve, and threw the branches to the ground. He tucked in his shirt and sighed deeply, "Gardening is so therapeutic."



Pruned by James Bond


James Bond - Master Gardener

57 comments:

  1. The gardens were gorgeous, but who's going to look at the flowers when they can feast their eyes on James Bond? Very creative garden tour!

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    1. He was the highlight of the tour. :o) Why do so many of my flower photos look just like him? Hmmm...

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  2. Lucky you (for so many reasons)! ;-) I totally agree with Rosemary. Must have been nice to escape the heat for a cool vacation in England. Thanks for the mention of the Italy trip. I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

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    1. It was a quick trip. I jetted over for the weekend. :o) You are LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY to be able to go on a garden tour of Italy!

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  3. I hope you gave James Bond a big smooch for the gardening tour!

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    1. At least one or twenty.... He does have a way with the ladies!

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  4. Tammy, the first photo is beautiful. It's strange that you can not see the flowers :) I love the Beatrix Potters pictures very much and you're lucky to see her Lake district home and gardens.

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    1. I just can't seem to find any flowers in that photo at all. I've had that problem with all the photos that feature James and the garden. They all just seem to be James, James, James!

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  5. I loved this witty post....the gardens visited are spectacular.
    Jet setting off to England for a weekend of garden visits was great therapy, I'm sure.
    Had no idea James was into gardening, but I guess he is like most of us gardeners, traveling with all the tools that may be useful in a "time of need."

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    1. Thanks! His Aston Martin is practically a tool shed. I was very surprised. :o)

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  6. Shaken or stirred, this is a very tasty post. Annnd informative. I love the pruning job on the penultimate shot. And on Bond's face.

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    1. Pruning can be a dangerous job, even for James Bond.

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  7. I would take that James Bond to my garden! I would take as good care of him as my roses...

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  8. Jetted to England for the weekend and she calls PP there lucky. Meanwhile, others of us sit swatting mosquitoes in reclaimed swamps (and such) muttering tickity-boo while eating potato chips (crisps) and WEEPING OVER THOSE PHOTOS. My GOD! what a man. I mean garden.

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    1. I made sure I was the only one in the tour group to keep the views completely unobstructed. Gardening is quite the workout as evidenced by his superior form. He did let slip that his favorite gardening clothes consist of a small blue bathing suit....

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  9. I thought James Bond was the Queen's companion now, helicoptering around with her on parachuting jaunts. NIce to know he's available for garden tours, although he seems a bit sketchy, disappearing all the time, and producing odd weapons from garden implements. I'm so glad you found a common gardening interest with him!

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    1. I texted the queen to ask if I could borrow him for a bit and she Tweeted right back that it would be no problem. He was a bit mysterious at times. I tried to create a shoe cultivator when I returned but just ended up stabbing myself in the toe.

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  10. Cute posting, love your Bond moment. I love the lush English gardens. Milder weather certainly has its benefits. That long allee of Allium is lovely!!
    Looks like a great vacation!!

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    1. It was amazing!! Since I now know how he loves to garden, I might just jet back every now and then to visit.

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  11. What a fantastic post... the only person I seem to meet when I visit gardens around here is Mr Bean!

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    1. Thanks! Have you actually met Mr. Bean?

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    2. I bumped into him once - charming man!

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  12. Lovely photos of the gardens and James! I loved the Cerny House gardens. My style of gardening.

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    1. I love these photos, too! Someday I hope to visit these gardens for real! :o)

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  13. I'm just going to say that I enjoyed your fabulous tour. You sure live the life and I'll just leave it at .....James Bond:)

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    1. Aren't all teachers jet setters? *wink* :o)

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  14. Ha ha, very funny post. I have never seen James in our gardens but will look harder next time.

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    1. Hopefully you'll find him with one of his fabulous gadgets.

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  15. Oh the disappointment, thought there was going to be a photo of Mr Bond in his Speedos taking a long, lingering look back as he dived into a garden pond.Sigh.....x

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    1. I'm sure he must garden in his blue bathing suit. I imagine anything else would just make him too sweaty.

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  16. very funny, creative and entertaining post, as well as photos of breathtaking gardens. i also laughed at the comment of thepyjamagardener.

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    1. While Mr Bean seems like a nice guy, I'd rather have Bond show up in the veggies than Mr. Bean. :o)

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  17. I never realized Beatrice Potter had a garden open to the public, will put that on my bucket list. and of course, also on the bucket list is a tour guided by Mr. Bond. oh those eyes.

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  18. I love this post! I'm smiling and laughing -- and I'm little bit shaken and stirred. The photos were gorgeous -- of the gardens, of course. Looking forward to your sequel with James. :)

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    1. Thanks!! I agree that Bond should make a second appearance. ;o)

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    2. Thanks! I agree that Bond should make a second appearance! ;o)

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  19. Sigh--the closest I've come to garden-touring with Daniel Craig is that time I Photoshoppped Liam Neeson into my backyard. He was SO PRETTY!!!

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    1. Notes to Self

      1) Buy Photoshop
      2) Put Liam Neeson in a kilt in my garden photos.

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  20. So you go to the Cotswolds for one single week-end and get to spend it with James Bond, whilst I have spent 13 years in London and not once have James Bond turned up in my garden?! Lucky you! (Bloody unfair –she whispers through gritted teeth…) No, really, I can see from your photos you had a splendid week-end, next time you pop over here, stop by my garden where most things usually are tickety-boo – most of the time :-)

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    1. I had never heard the phrase tickety-boo until I went to the Cerney House website. I actually had to look it up on Urban Dictionary to figure out what it means. I think the unEnglish American equivalent would be "neat and tidy". Tickety-boo is much more fun to say. :o)

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    2. Oh, I agree! After 13 years in Britain I have had to learn a lot of these words and phrases as my English was very limited in the beginning.

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  21. You and I have similar taste in men... thats my fake husband you've got there... back off woman!

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  22. I welcome you very warmly!
    James Bond, a real hunk.
    A wonderful story. Fantastic photos.
    Great colors.
    Yours.

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    1. I welcome you also! :o) James Bond is always fun to write and daydream about!

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  23. What a delightful and wonderfully entertaing post, you are such a good writer.

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    1. Thank you so much! Now if I could just get him to show up for real... :o)

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  24. As the Brits say "A Ripping Yarn" or in sexy Italian "una storia fantastica". If you would like a momento of your trip try ordering a Daniel Craig garden gnome from Alison at http://itsjustapie.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-am-marketing-genius.html

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    1. I will definitely take her Daniel Craig gnome, especially since it appears life size!

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  25. What a funny post! This is the ultimate in garden tours and who would care if there wasn't a flower in bloom in sight with Bond as a guide. I love that last shot. He may well have pruned the tree, but the tree had the last laugh!

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    1. Where there any flowers in these photos? Dang it! I should have included more of Bond... :o)

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  26. Thank you for the tour. It must have been amazing to have such a guide :)

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  27. Yes, James Bond is dreamy. I am not sure I would have paid so much attention to the gardens with him as a tour guide! Thanks for the giggles!

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  28. I was a wee bit shy when I put in my Blogger profile that I'm a James Bond nerd, now I'm not so ashamed. Fabulous post!

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  29. Man, do you know HOW to take a garden tour !!! "Bloody, brilliant!" (I'm going to have to see what I can schedule for a garden tour in Australia with Hugh Jackman. He was a "Drover" after all. Think he'd be game?)

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