Rosemary Verey

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Barnsley House, Rosemary Verey's home
Barnsley House,Rosemary Verey

Rosemary Verey, OBE, VMH (21 December 1918 in Chatham, Kent – 31 May 2001 in Cheltenham) was an internationally known English garden designer, lecturer and prolific garden writer who designed the famous garden at Barnsley House, near Cirencester.


She was born Rosemary Isabel Baird Sandilands and educated at Eversley School, Folkestone, and University College London. In 1939 she married David Verey, whose family owned Barnsley House.

Verey's most famous garden design was that of her own house, Barnsley House, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. In 1970 she opened the garden for one day to the public for the National Gardens Scheme but eventually it was open six days per week to accommodate the 30,000 annual visitors. In 1984 when her husband David died, Rosemary Verey began designing gardens for American and British clients. Verey helped plant and develop the gardens of Woodside, Elton John's estate in Berkshire, as well as Charles, Prince of Wales's Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, and gardens for Princess Michael of Kent, the Marquess of Bute and the New York Botanical Garden.[1]

Rosemary Verey was well known for taking imposing elements from large public gardens and bringing them into scale for the home gardeners use. Her laburnum walk, which has been photographed many times, is an example of this technique. The National Trust's Bodnant Garden in North Wales has a very large laburnum walk that inspired Verey to plant a similar, smaller scale laburnum walk at Barnsley House. Verey is also noted for making vegetable (ornamental potager) gardens fashionable once again. The potager at Barnsley House was inspired by that at the Château de Villandry on the Loire in France.

She was awarded the OBE in 1996 and in 1999 from the Royal Horticultural Society the highest accolade that Society can award, the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH).[2]


  • The Englishwoman's Garden . Chatto and Windus, 1980. Hardcover: ISBN 0-7011-2395-8
  • The Scented Garden. Marshall Editions 1981. Hardcover: ISBN 0-7181-2050-7
  • Classic Garden Design: Adapting and Recreating Garden Features of the Past . Viking, 1984. Hardcover: ISBN 0-670-80063-5
  • The New Englishwoman's Garden . Co-authored by Alvilde Lees-Milne. Chatto and Windus, 1987. Hardcover: ISBN 0-7011-3273-6
  • The Flower Arranger's Garden . Conran Octopus, 1992, ISBN 1-85029-322-8
  • Good Planting. Frances Lincoln Publishers, 1990. Hardcover: ISBN 0-7112-0606-6
  • The Art of Planting. Photographs by Andrew Lawson. Little, Brown and Company, 1990. Hardcover: ISBN 978-0316899765
  • A Countrywoman's Notes. Foreword by HRH Charles, Prince of Wales. London: Frances Lincoln Publishers, 1993. Miniature edition. Hardcover: ISBN 0-7112-0888-3, ISBN 978-0-7112-0888-9.
  • Rosemary Verey's Good Planting Plans. Little Brown and Company, 1993. Hardcover: ISBN 0-316-89982-8
  • Secret Gardens: Revealed by Their Owners Chosen and Edited by Rosemary Verey. Bulfinch Press, 1994. Hardcover: ISBN 0-8212-2074-8
  • Rosemary Verey's English Country Gardens . Henry Holt & Co, 1996. Hardcover: ISBN 0-8050-5080-9
  • The English Country Garden . BBC Books, 1996. Hardcover: ISBN 0-563-38705-X
  • Rosemary Verey's Making of a Garden. Frances Lincoln Publishers, 2001. Photographs by Tony Lord. Plans rendered in watercolour by Hilary Wills. New York: Paperback: ISBN 0-7112-1791-2
  • The Garden in Winter. Frances Lincoln Publishers, 2002. Paperback: ISBN 0-7112-2020-4
  • A Countrywoman's Year by Rosemary Verey. First US edition, hard cover. ((Little, Brown and Company, 1989. ISBN 0-316-89977-1


  1. ^ Robinson 2012, p. 134.
  2. ^ Erica Hunningher, The Independent Rosemary Verey obituary, 7 June 2001
  • Robinson, Barbara Paul (2012). Rosemary Verey: The Life & Lessons of a Legendary Gardener. London: David R. Godine. ISBN 978-1-56-792450-3.