Having been in the Wye Valley on Monday, I today visited the Gloucestershire gardens of Eyford House and Rockcliffe, two properties separated by the River Eye. Each is wonderful in its own way.
Last year Country Life voted Eyford England's favourite house, a judgement which I couldn't possibly query. Its garden certainly offsets the 20th Century house in a delightfully unassuming manner - hard to believe only one gardener is employed to maintain it all. Rockcliffe surely requires a far bigger team. Clipping the hedges alone would seem to be a full-time job.
But for all the elaborate planting in Rockcliffe's eight acres of flowers, trees and vegetables, I prefer the naturalness of Eyford, with its grand view - not a single building in sight - and outlook over a cow pasture: I can't imaging a cow being allowed within miles of Château Keswick. Grayson Perry should have been here to compare them when researching for the final programme of his brilliant "In the best possible taste" series.
And then there's Eyford's Milton connection, described by this plaque, hidden away down by the River Eye itself.