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STORIES FROM PATINA MEADOW
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STORIES FROM PATINA MEADOW

A VISIT TO THE NEWT IN SOMERSET

When Steve and I decided to plan a trip to England, I knew visiting the Newt in Somerset would be the highlight. I discovered the Newt a while back on Instagram


I remember the first video dropped into my feed was just a few seconds long… two men were pulling on a rope to raise a monumental floral arrangement into the rafters of a gorgeous minimal barn space.


Image via The Newt In Somerset Instagram

 Everything about the video was perfect… the pully system was a work of art, the balance of rustic natural materials was balanced beautifully with the more modern architectural detailing…



I must have spent over an hour deep diving into the images on their feed, charmed by their thoughtful renovation of the 300-year-old Georgian existing structures and the additional more modern buildings crafted in the same local materials as well as their extensive gardens. 


I shared some of my favorite images with Steve, and we both decided that we had to visit this magical place in person. 


There are several lodging options on the property including Hadspen, the original 17th Century Georgian Manor house...



The farm buildings surrounding Hadspen, including, The Stable, The Clock House...



and The Granary...



A half mile from Hadspen is the Farmyard, where the original dairy farm buildings are now guest rooms, an indoor pool, as well as the Farmyard Kitchen restaurant.



The indoor pool at the Farmyard…



We arrived an hour before check-in, allowing us to relax in the bar and enjoy a bowl of delicious squash soup, paired with crusty bread and fresh butter. Steve became addicted to the refreshing Apple Cyder, made from the apples grown on the property. This light lunch became part of our daily routine during our stay. I highly recommend it!



Our charming room was called the Hadspen Loft, a cozy space, nestled in the dormers of the third floor of the manor house. Leave it to the attentive hotel staff to know that the low ceilings would work perfectly for our diminutive stature!



After quickly unpacking, Steve and I set out to explore the gardens…


Map via the Newt in Somerset App

Developed over 200 years by Margaret and Penelope Hobhouse, Nori and Sandra Pope, and most recently by architect Patrice Taravella, the landscape is a collection of formal gardens framed by more natural garden spaces, shared with local native wildlife, including deer and, of course, the crested newt.



Some friends we made along the walk through the apple orchards on our way to the Farmyard…



A few of my favorite landscape details…


Walking through the Red, White, and Blue “rooms”. Each space is filled with a selection of plantings in a single color, creating interest with a variety of textures. 



“Window” detail…



Another “window” detail in a different area of the garden. This one is fashioned inside the wall of a hedge, providing a glimpse of the pasture…



A herd of British White Cattle are the residents of this pasture that runs along one side of Hadspen Manor. A “haha” low wall keeps the cattle from leaving the pasture, although they look pretty content!



Apple espaliers are planted along the entire length of this metal espalier. I can only imagine the glorious vision it becomes as they bloom in the spring. 



Beautiful garden structures can be found throughout the gardens…



The view through the arbor…



Lush plantings of herbs and flowers overflow their willow planter beds. 



The chicken coop and storage sheds are fashioned inside a series of small pitched structures gradually making their way down the hillside. 



A happy Chicken roosting in a nesting box constructed from a terra cotta pot nestled in a rustic plank of wood…



The production garden was of particular interest to me, as we continue to develop our own potager at Patina Meadow. 


I was particularly impressed by the beautiful and functional designs throughout the garden, including these screened planting structures that protect the fruiting vines from the wild life. 



The perfect place for lettuce to grow…



I’ve heard a lot about Hugelkultur. It was nice to see an example in real life. 



A variety of lettuces planted on the side of a “mound”



All of the plant supports were made with twigs and branches, adding a rustic/organic feel to the garden…



Lovely natural support of intertwined twigs…



In another garden, greenhouses were filled with edible plantings. A shower of Nasturtiums growing vertically in one of the greenhouses….



Terracotta pots filled with ripening strawberries filled the counter on one side of another greenhouse. 



As we made our way across the property, the landscape became more natural and less structured. 


We spied a little duck house popping up out of the bushes along one of the ponds. 



There are so many other features on this property! I recommend visiting the Newt in Somerset website to learn more about the Beezantium (their bee experience, the Viper (a serpentine treetop walkway), as well as the Roman Experience (inspired by the unearthed Roman Villa dating back to 351AD). 


The Dovecote sited along the path to the Roman Experience… 



A few of the happy residents...



If you aren’t able to stay at the Newt, I highly recommend a day visit to take in some of the landscape as well as the delicious fresh food they offer in their restaurants. 


If I haven’t overwhelmed you yet with inspiration, I highly recommend popping over to the Babylon Storen website, The Newt’s sister property in South Africa or follow @babylonstoren on Instagram. 


Have you visited The Newt? What were some of your favorite experiences?


xx

Brooke 







4 Comments


Brooke, I am so excited to see the Newt "in person." I discovered it on Instagram some time ago and was so enchanted I wtote a post about it on my blog. And I put it on my list from the next trip to the UK. Now I am even more excited to visit and take in the farm, the animals, the gardens and all the rest.

Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns

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Simply amazing. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest, but to have everything so perfectly beautiful....How wonderful that this has been created. Thank you for sharing.

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Thank you Brooke - I loved reading about the Newt. As a South African - I am very familiar with the whole story behind Babylonstoren and The Newt and the couple who developed these magnificent estates. Patrice Taravella originally designed Priory d’ Orsan gardens in France which are magnificent and this is where he began to use natural and rustic structures - medieval style to enhance his plantings…

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Thank you so much for sharing this special place with us Brooke. So magical and it will be fun to see how your incorporate some of these ideas into your own magical homestead. -Anne

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