Narrow in bounds, but wide in variety, the garden of Tilchington Rectory was one of the most beautiful in the South Country. It lay in a hollow, some four to five chains broad, down the middle of which ran a small and clear brook marked on the ordnance map as R. Tilch, but beloved of its riparians as, simply, our stream. For half of its course through the Rectory grounds the little river was impounded by successive dams to form three pools. The two upper of these provided easy watering for vegetables, while the third--into which a waterfall splashed between two clumps of bamboo under overhanging fronds of Osmunda fern--was the central and distinctive feature of the flower garden. On either side were sloping lawns and to the north of it stood the Rectory house, mainly in the Georgian architecture, but partly Victorianised by plate-glass windows. From the third pool, the stream cascaded down through a rock garden to the level of its natural bed, along which it dimpled and chattered by the side of the gravelled carriage drive, past rose-garden and orchard, until it slipped away from the rectory precincts, over a stone sill set in a small arch beneath the boundary wall. All this description has to be in the past tense, because the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have since sold both parsonage and glebe, and, for all that the writer knows, the fell hand of the improver may have fallen upon house, garden and rivulet.
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