For several years now I've been wanting to visit the topiary gardens at Marqueyssac. A friend sent me Anna Pavord's column in the Guardian where she spoke of them and I filed the cutting away in my 'must do' notebook. Well we don't get out much! Partly because we live in a very nice place and are busy and partly because I have a real aversion to sitting in a car for more than an hour if it's not absolutely necessary. Last week however, before the holidays ended, I donned the hat of shame and we took to the road in the Mog.
What a brilliant day it was! The gardens are mad and quite spectacular. There is the very ordered, clipped, formal part near the house but there are also acres of woods with follies and views, cascades and pools. You can walk for about 4 miles in all and we did. Just lovely. There is also a tearoom - a rare thing in this part of the world. The French just don't get that if you're going to look at art or visit a garden you also need to eat cake...!
The house itself has the most beautiful lauze roof. It is undergoing restoration and the knitting together of the new and old is amazingly skilled. It costs a fortune so I guess they're doing it as and when money is available but in the meantime finish it nicely rather than tarpaulining the roof. The whole thing weighs 300 tonnes.