G IS FOR :
GARDEN VISITING !
'"Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade'
- from 'The Glory Of The Garden' - Rudyard Kipling, 1865 -1936.
Much as I love time spent in my own garden, I rarely take time to sit in it and relax as himself pointed out just the other day. I was suggesting buying a little table and couple of chairs to go out at the front. In reality though whenever I sit down with that book and that refreshing drink, there is always something that catches my eye and off I go. So I love visiting other people's gardens where I can wonder at leisure, be inspired, sit down in the shade and drink in the sights and sounds. If I'm lucky there may also be plants for sale and a tearoom serving tempting goodies. Over the years I have been lucky enough to visit a fair few gardens both grand and pocket handkerchief size, including country estates, botanical gardens, town gardens and cottage gardens. Absolutely impossible to chose a favourite, so here is a trio all within relatively easy travelling distance of my own garden that I would be happy to visit time and time again.
Heading north to Levens Hall in Cumbria and its glorious topiary which is amongst the oldest in the world.
The topiary was laid out by a French man, Guillaume Beaumont, in 1690, who trained under Andre Le Notre at Versailles. Beaumont had only recently finished laying out gardens at Hampton Court Palace. Very little has been altered since that time. The gardens also feature the earliest known example in England of a "ha-ha", or sunken ditch.
Now in a southerly direction to Shropshire and the
The Dorothy Clive Garden, a gorgeous garden and oh such glorious cakes. There is a touching love story behind this garden. Colonel Harry Clive the owner began work in 1940 on the Quarry Garden which was a disused nineteenth century gravel quarry. He wanted to create a secluded place where his wife Dorothy, who suffered from Parkinson's Disease, could take some daily exercise. Sadly, in April 1942, Dorothy died but work on the garden continued and in 1958, with the acquisition of more land the development of the Hillside Garden began. Colonel Harry set up the Willoughbridge Garden Trust in 1958 to preserve the garden as a memorial to his beloved Dorothy and to provide a place for the public to visit and relax.
Coming back home and almost on our doorstep is Arley Hall in Cheshire,with it's famous double herbaceous borders which were laid out in 1846 :
A few years ago now, we enjoyed a magical warm summer evening there, when a friend held their wedding reception at the Hall. In the evening after the gardens were closed to the public, we were able to wander through the gardens almost in solitude. Pure bliss !
This is my post for ABC Wednesday which if you gravitate towards now you will be able to enjoy other posts on the letter G. Finally the photo at the top of this post is not one of the three gardens mentioned, but a clue to next week's post which will all geared up to the letter H.