12/52: Visit the Peto Gardens at Iford Manor

I've always intended to visit Iford Manor to see the Peto Gardens, but as with lots of things right on your doorstep, had never got round to it ..... until today. I went with my friend Suzy to take part in a Songways Singing Day at Iford Manor and it was actually held in the Peto Gardens.

The singing day was run by Jane Harris and in her introduction she described the day as being 'A feast for the senses - we have the garden to ourselves and will sing for our own enjoyment, exploring the different acoustics and beauty of each part of the garden including the intimate Italianate Cloister with its exceptional acoustics and atmosphere. Uplifting harmonies, joyous singing and moments of glorious tranquility all in a magical setting'. 

And it has been a truly magical day.  Perfect weather, beautiful surroundings, like minded people (55 of us) and amazing music.

Here's my photographic record of the day.

Iford Manor, photographed from the
bridge over the River Frome

Steps leading up to the casita where
we sang Jubilate Deo

leaving the casita, moving to a lower terrace to sing
our next song

View out over the gardens from the
lower terrace

From here we moved to the cloister.  We were asked to walk in silence and on the way, open ourselves up to sights and sounds around us.  Not captured on camera were the sound of birdsong, the weir by the bridge, bees buzzing around and ...

the vibrant colours of the fish
and the scent of wisteria, absolutely
everywhere (or so I was told!)

then moving into the cloister, still in

We spread out around the cloister,
closed our eyes and just hummed.  It
may sound strange but it was a
very moving experience

Suzy taking time out and
looking out over the valley

the rest of the day was spend in the
cloister - fantastic acoustics

singing a version of Pachelbel's Canon,
my favourite part of the day

This was a very special way to experience all that Iford Manor has to offer and the Songways Singing Day will definitely be repeated in the future.


  1. Sounds like an absolutely fantastic day Eileen and Iford Manor looks a stunning place to visit. I can imagine the uplifting feeling the day left you with. x

  2. I've just found it on google, looks lovely, must put on my "to see" list. I can imagine how the singing and humming with like-minded souls must be a very moving experience. Joy xx

  3. That sounds like it was a wonderful day for you and such a beautiful place to visit.
    Thanks for your comment about my girls, I am indeed very proud of them all. Now the waiting game for all the results to come in. Nerve wracking!!!

  4. Just found your beautiful account of the Iford Singing Day last year. I'm delighted to be let you know that I will be leading another Singing Day at Iford on WED 15 MAY this year 10am to 2pm. Full details at http://www.songways.co.uk/singing-days/. Do tell your friends and hope to see some of you there. Jane Harris


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