In late June of this year I went on the most wonderful tour of seven of the gardens in Kent and Sussex. I am not reporting on them in the order in which I saw them -- in fact Hever was the last garden visited. Fate smiled on our group, as the rain held off until the last day, and didn't start in earnest until we were leaving Hever. The overcast skies meant that my pictures aren't as nice as I'd like, but the threatening pearly gray light was lovely in its own way.
The castle was the family seat of the Boleyn family from 1462 to 1539 and Anne Boleyn spent her early youth there. It later belonged to Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. It passed through various hands before being acquired in bad repair in 1903 by William Waldorf Astor. He restored the castle, built the ersatz Tudor village, and created the gardens.
Information above cribbed from Wikipedia entries. Map lovers and those wanting more in-depth information should go here.
There is a longish walk from the parking lot through the manicured grounds up to the ticket gate entrance ~
Thanks, Htmb. No complaints about the weather, since it politely refrained from raining until time was up at this last garden.
Kerouac, tea with the Astors was undoubtedly a laff riot.
I don't know what the parlor where they took tea looks like, since I did not visit the house. It was an option, but I preferred to spend the time available in the gardens -- that gave me plenty to cover, as you will see.
Yes, Breeze, very big garden. I imagine I missed some stuff. That was a nifty area where the work cart was. Opposite the cart was a large shed converted into a small shop selling garden items. That's where the hanging baskets were. I can't hear the words *cream tea* without sighing dramatically. On this trip I finally had clotted cream. If I were as rich as Cristina Onassis, my downfall wouldn't be cases of Coke, but vats of clotted cream, a divine substance.
In thread time I am still in the sunken garden ~
This interlude has been paradise, but there are other parts of the garden still to explore, so off I go ~
And now let's talk about geometrical/carpet bedding in gardens. Many of us in this day and age will reject that style out of hand. I admit to being in that camp, but visiting several huge gardens has made me rethink that stance to a degree, as sometimes bedding can be entirely appropriate. I think the Hever bedding gardens are effective in that they create more intimate areas of interest along one side of the wide lawn areas in the Italian garden, much as framed pictures are used to soften the starkness of a huge room. Also, the little beds are in line with the period in which the Hever gardens were created, although a good bit of the overall design reflects the naturalistic style of the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th.
This expansive formal area is bordered on one side by the rose-covered arcade with its backdrop of trees ~
The other side is bordered by a wide walk which in turn borders a line of bedding areas interspersed with naturalistic and formal areas ~
This is the citrus plant you see in the far left of the photo above ~
I wander over toward the wilder part of the garden, but the alloted time is almost up and the sprinkle of rain is getting heavier. Time to turn back ~
In common with many of the gardens I visited, Hever cleverly positions plants for sale near the exit point. I tried to avert my eyes most of the time, as there was no way I could take plants with me. This Campanula demanded attention, though, as did the Petunias in their perfect Tudor colors ~
This was a beautiful experience that bears repeating ~
Belated acknowledgment of your comment on the water lilies, Htmb. When you wrote it, you didn't know I was going to clobber you all with even more.
I had heard of the "Buddha's Hand" citrus before, but had never seen one. The wikipedia entry on it is fascinating. It is a citron and one of the four original citrus fruits. The "medica" part of the name refers to its various medical uses from ancient through medieval times. It's high vitamin C content means that it still has medical value.
Thanks for looking and commenting -- I enjoyed this place a great deal. I didn't catch any gardeners at work in this garden, but there surely must be teams of them.
I tried and failed to imagine culinary uses for the odd thing, so had to google. I found this fun etymological info: The varietal name sarcodactylis is from the Greek sarkos meaning "fleshy" and dactylos meaning "finger".source The uses I found don't make it sound crucial to domestic life, but I'd like to grow one as a patio oddity. Apparently it's grown like any other citrus.
That is so true about viewing gardens in different seasons. I can imagine that Hevers would be lovely in winter, with its geometric lines showing to advantage and various trees and bushes either showing their skeletons or remaining darkly in leaf.
I will, won't I? I've stated this somewhere else, but I have to say again that the English garden experience was everything I ever hoped for and even more. Remember, we're talking about decades of poring over gardening books and magazines, so my expectations were as high as the moon. How fabulous that those expectations were met and more and that there are so many more gardens yet to see.
Last Edit: Sept 30, 2018 5:26:59 GMT by bixaorellana: replace smiley
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