Sunday, October 4, 2009

Reading a Garden II

I had no idea that Hestercombe would be one of the highlights of my trip to the south of England this summer. I didn't even know it existed. Our good friends, Pauline and Chris, had visited us when we stayed at The Bothy in Ireland the previous summer. They had the perfect garden getaway planned for me while the rest of the troop went to the archives in Taunton, Somerset. I had two hours strolling Hestercombe with my camera. It was a beautiful day and there were few visitors. I felt like the garden was all mine. I couldn't imagine that my husband and the rest of our small group would rather have their noses in musty books.

Hestercombe, developed over several centuries, is a collection of three gardens and several buildings which have all undergone restoration work in recent years.

The Georgian Landscape Garden created in the eighteenth century was designed to give the impression of a classic landscape with grottoes, lakes, temples etc. Flowers were a minor design element while trees and shrubs play a more prominent role in the overall design . This garden style has seats and small buildings where visitors can enjoy views similar to landscape paintings - hence Landscape Garden. This was new information for me and it was only after I got home and began to read a book I'd purchased that I discovered this. I would love to go back and begin shooting from each sitting space to capture the landscape as it was meant to be seen.

The Victorian Terrace on the south side of the house is a beautiful garden with colourful period style bedding schemes which are changed twice a year.

The Edwardian Formal Garden was created in the early twentieth century by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. The planting scheme designed by Gertrude Jekyll uses borders of graduated colour. The Formal Garden is considered the finest example of design created by this famous partnership.

From the Victorian Terrace Garden looking down on the Formal Garden

I was taken with the design of the Formal Garden, particularly the repetition of circular and semi- circular motifs which worked very well to relieve the hard edged rectangular and and angled shapes.

I have so much more to share ...

1 comment:

layers said...

The English gardens seem to me to have so much contrast-- the very old weathered stones, and stairs and walls and the ordered display of plants, and flowers-- these are beautiful pics.