Jewel In The Crown

dsc_5159I’ve recently returned from vacation in England. The theme of my trip was countryside and gardens. What I learned from this trip is an order of magnitude beyond that notion of “garden” which I had before I embarked. I’d previously thought of a garden as a place of flowers, or herbs, or fruits & vegetables. Or, as a specimen garden designed to demonstrate climates & continents.  Or as some mixture of lawn & shrub with perhaps a water feature thrown in for pleasure. I guess that’s because this represents my experiences of gardens up to that point. But, this recent trip to just a few of England’s great gardens changed my concept.  I now realize that a garden can be an art form, just as music and literature and sculpture are art forms.  I hadn’t understood that there is such a thing as a “landscape garden” — it’s not just a landscape, nor a garden, but a living work of art starting from the canvas of terrain.

Pictured above is just one view of Stourhead, one of England’s great landscape gardens. It was conceived & designed by Henry Hoare (1705-1785).

“The greens should be ranged together in large masses as the shades are in painting: to contrast the dark masses with light ones, and to relieve each dark mass itself with little sprinkling of lighter greens here and there.” – Henry Hoare

One of the volunteers at another garden I visited called Stourhead the jewel in the crown of England’s gardens. I myself have seen none more beautiful than this.

14 thoughts on “Jewel In The Crown

    1. I’ve visited Ireland & Scotland, and I confess preferring Ireland. I found both Scots & Irish to be charming & welcoming, but it was warmer & sunnier in Ireland. That really influences how one experiences a holiday, doesn’t it?

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    1. Isn’t it just gorgeous?!
      Agree, not something the home gardener can replicate, but it surely is something to learn from. We are going to replace our water-gulping lawn, and these gardens have given me something to think about besides the drought-tolerant basics.

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    1. Oh gosh, Sue, I missed your comment 😦 Sorry!
      Yes, some of my Very Best Vacations were ones which had a theme. One of those was a trip through France in which we visited the prehistoric sites. So much fun.

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    1. Wish I could take credit, but kudos go to the garden designer. I just pointed & shot. Well, we also must give kudos the the fabulous weather on that morning.

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