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Grand day out - gardens to visit

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default Grand day out - gardens to visit

Post by Dandelion on 11th December 2010, 11:01 pm

At Zoe's suggestion I'm kicking off a thread about gardens we've visited and enjoyed (or not....!)
In the wilds of Herefordshire, somewhere between Hereford and Ross on Wye is a house and garden called Howe Capel Court. The house dates from medieaval times, but is not open to the public. The gardens were restyled in Edwardian times, just before the outbreak of the first world war, and although one area was laid out much more recently, the effect is of a slightly neglected, wild, atmospheric garden where nature is taking over. It slopes down under huge trees and then leads you back up again by a series of quite steep terraces. There are features such as a sunken rose garden with pergolas round, but the roses were growing wild over everything, and the pond was choked with water lillies. We felt as though we were in a stage set for an Agatha Christie film and really wouldn't have been surprised if a group of people in Edwardian tennis outfits and straw boaters had walked past us. Except (joy of joys) we had the place to ourselves!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Grand day out - gardens to visit

Post by Hathorite on 12th December 2010, 5:51 am

Got an English Heritage membership this year and hoping to get some use out of it again in the spring, but now I need something wheelchair/scooter accessible. Thankfully, most English Heritage sites have scooters you can rent out and now I've got a card I can use them for free! We've been to a few local gardens here in Wiltshire and Dorset and it's been some good times!
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default Re: Grand day out - gardens to visit

Post by Aberlemno on 12th December 2010, 11:49 am

That sounds like a lovely day out Dandelion. I shall have to look out for it and perhaps have a special day out there this summer.

My favourite garden has to be the one at Powis Castle - it is absolutely STUNNING. Again, it's one I need to visit again before we move away. Does anyone else know it? http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/powis_castle_garden - though the link doesn't do it justice . . .

If you're down in Hampshire, please visit Mottisfont Abbey - it is the one place which gave me a deep and abiding love of old roses. Exbury is fabulous too (in the spring when all the azaleas and rhododendrons are out), and Hillier's gardens at Braishfield too. I've not visited the latter, but rode around one headland of the land when they were starting to plant it up back in the 1960s . . . We got chucked out! http://www.britainsfinest.co.uk/gardens/search_results.cfm/searchcounty/Hampshire

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default Re: Grand day out - gardens to visit

Post by kramer on 13th December 2010, 2:38 pm

http://www.gardens-guide.com/gardenpages/_0049.htm

I loved Knebworth House & Gardens, Hertfordshire. I already loved Knebworth from a music point of view having seen Rammstein and Iron Maiden at this years Sonisphere Festival, and in the past I saw Oasis perform here. As I pass the grounds everyday on my way to work I thought I should see what it is like and so my partner and son went one damp Saturday. Knebworth House has been home to the Lytton family for more than 500 years. It is set within 250 acres of parkland with herds of Red and Sika deer. The deer roam free and are quite impressive, they can be tempermental though so keep a safe distance.

The gardens were peaceful on the day we visited and feature the Lutyens - pollarded Lime designed avenues, a walled kitchen garden, the Gertrude Jekyll Herb Garden, the Rose Garden, the sunken lawn complete with formal lily ponds and a mixture of modern bush roses and older shrub roses. The victorian maze, was reinstated in 1995, using box and yew. There are two ponds, one ornamental and one wild. Restoration of the Horace Garden started in 1999, and in this area is an evergreen oak, given by Queen Victoria to her godson, Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton, on his coming of age.

There is so much to see and do, the following is quoted from Gardens Guide link attached - 'The Wilderness, dating from Victorian times, is a 7 acre area of fine ornamented trees, include Californian redwoods, the tallest cut - leafed silver birch in the UK, and a 'snowdrop tree'. In spring it is a carpet of Daffodils. It also contains 72 life-size dinosaurs.

In the Jekyll Herb Garden, The 'Quincunx' pattern and planting was first designed by Gertrude Jekyll in 1907 but was not laid out until 1982. The ornamental vegetable and culinary herb garden in the Walled Garden, was designed in 1999 and laid out in 2000.


The structure and layout of the present garden, is mainly Edwardian - designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1908 - 1911, but this overlays an earlier elaborate Victorian design by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, laid out from 1846 onwards. The earliest records of a garden at Knebworth date back to 1700s. Since the 1980's a programme of restoration and development has been under way, funded by the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust. This led to the restoration of many of the more important historic elements of the garden and new contemporary features and plantings. Each generation of the family has added something new to the garden and the present owners are carrying on that tradition'. end of quotation.

On the site you will also see the Knebworth Forte which is an adventure playground for children (and some adults!!) and has a mini railway. It is a nice distance away from the gardens so they can be enjoyed in relative peace. My 9 year old son loved the maze, the dinosaurs and the fact that the house is Batman's home in the film with Michael Keaton.

It is worth checking before travelling that the grounds are open as they often have events on like Sonisphere, Craft Fairs etc.

My only grip was that I got told off for taking a photo of the front door! There were no signs saying that photos of the house weren't allowed.


Last edited by kramer on 13th December 2010, 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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default Re: Grand day out - gardens to visit

Post by Guest on 13th December 2010, 2:49 pm

My favourate garden for the spiritual side is the Chalice Well in Glastonbury.
http://www.chalicewell.org.uk/
They have done a good job and the actual well has a strong spiritual power around it but you sometimes have to duck past the "rose-goddess" learning-group types which can be rather distracting. The little kids placing with the water in the race is always refreshing to see!

For inspiration for plants, planting and (spending money) what can be done is Hillier's Arboretum. Now call Sir Harold Hillier Gardens its in Romsey, Hampshire. It has 180acres and an amazing exploration at any time of the year.
http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hilliergardens

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default Re: Grand day out - gardens to visit

Post by Guest on 13th December 2010, 2:56 pm

great Kramer! fleurs

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