If you have a spare moment I wish to take you back in time to mid-January, when as a birthday treat I ventured forth to sunny Stourhead in the picturesque Wiltshire countryside. I freely admit to being more interested in flower gardens than landscapes but, like sprouts, in the bleak winter months with not much else going on it’s best to put a brave face on and give these things a try! The chief benefit of these landscape gardens in the winter is their structure. The main elements that others will enjoy in summer are actually still visible now! The trees form the majority of this scene, and are still very much offering up some beauty. They do not require chopping to the ground in autumn, and being perfectly hardy do not require traipsing up to the Glasshouse in large wheelbarrows. One in the eye for the flower garden, what! The central feature here is the lake, and paths hug its perimeter and offer some truly exhilarating views from one side to the other. An assortment of classical temples awaits your perusal, and two grottos offer some intrigue and changes in level. If this description does not wet your appetite, I must relate to you the fact that a traditional hostelry lies at the centre of the property, and does a rather splendid line in hearty food and local ales!
|This view greets you at the garden entrance with the Palladian Bridge, and the Pantheon looming across the lake|
|Pollarded willows providing a welcome blast of winter colour!|
|Looking back across the lake|
|The sun was with me all day, glorious times! Particularly so with the bees on the wing and the buzzards gliding and calling overhead|
|The Gothic Cottage. Fairytale stuff|
|A drone fly, tucking into the first wave of Galanthus|
|View of the lake from down in the Grotto. There are pools of water here, take care or you may end up with wet tweeds and water up to your shins! Oops|
|The Temple of Flora|
|A rather natty insect house|
|The Palladian pile is somewhat removed from the lake feature that forms the main garden, but nevertheless is sufficiently grand|
A resuscitating ‘What ho!’ one and all! A notice was posted in the Bicycle News pronouncing this blog dead, but now I’m back in action and fit as a fiddle! Time off work before college, my last ever college block, and my first job interview since Hidcote have led me astray from my blogging duties. With spring upon us, I’ll cherry pick the best of the topics I wanted to post and hopefully find myself up to date in no time at all. Hidcote is now open 5 days a week, please see here!