Monday, December 28, 2009

Virtual Garden Tour of Stourhead

Welcome to Tiny Tours- a little virtual something to help you through the doldrums of winter.
I'm starting our tours with Stourhead, in England, since it's one of my very favorite gardens. Not overly flashy, but extremely serene and peaceful.

The Gate into the Estate is quite beautiful in itself.

The stables were outrageous. Such lucky horses!

One of the first gardens you come to at Stourhead is the Walled Garden. There were many bright flowers and huge flocks of butterflies. Most of the garden is quite natural and green. This is one of the few places with riotous color.

The drive up to the house is lined with 600 year old chestnut trees.

I didn't have time to tour the house (next time). Thought the cattle out front were quite interesting. The statues on the roof were originally in the temple of Apollo, but they were vandalized so much, they were put up out of reach.

The route around the lake is 2 miles, but there is so much to see that it wasn't even a question of whether we would walk it all, but rather of how long it would take us.
This is the Palladian Bridge. It crosses a tiny bay in the lake. From the Pantheon, across the lake, it looks like the bridge crosses a river that empties into the lake. Nice little bit of visual trickery.

From the Palladian Bridge, you can get a view of the Temple of Apollo up on the hilltop.

The Pantheon is a photographer's dream. There are a number of places to photograph it on the route around the lake.

Here is the Grotto, seen from the lake side.

The River Maid sits behind a small bathing pool in the Grotto.

There are a number of ancient trees that prove the age of these gardens.

The Gothic Cottage was off limits when I was there because the slate roof was causing weight problems. They had scheduled to remove the slate and re roof in the original thatch. I imagine that project is complete now.

Wildlife was abundant. I was enchanted by this mama coot trying to coax her baby into the water.

The Temple of Apollo sits high above the lake. There is a fork in the path before you get to the temple which reflects life. You can go to the right and the way is steep and rocky, but you are rewarded by a visit to the temple and outstanding views of the lake. Or you can go left and the path is level and smooth, but there are no rewards. (PS the rocky, steep path was worth it.)

A view of the tiny island from the Temple of Apollo.

A churchyard at the end of the walk revealed some exquisite headstones, many so old you could no longer read the writing on them.


jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I seem to have seen this place before, but not myself--I think another blogger has been there and written about it, or else it's in one of my (way too many) garden books. Whatever the case, it's amazing to see it through your eyes, too.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Thank you for this wonderful tour! I like the buildings and structures as much as the gardens. The Pantheon is great! The stables... ah, if I was a horse, this is where I'd like to live...

Yan said...

Another treasure I didn't know existed. Your virtual tour and others in this blogosphere have inspired me to start a list and plan a real life tour. Thanks Yan.

Kiki said...

What a super gorgeous post..thankyou for sharing it!! AWesome beauty!!

leavesnbloom said...

Beautiful pictures - I had never heard of the place before so had to google to see where it was in England. My hubby loves to walk around old graveyards reading headstones and looking at the engravings.

Annie said...

What an incredible place! The history there is amazing. What beautiful pictures

Christine B. said...

The size of those chesnut trunks is amazing. Wish we had some 600 year old trees around my place (or town for that matter). Thanks for the gorgeous tour.

Christine in Alaska

Cheryl said...

Tku for such a lovely guided tour. What a fantastic place. I love the old buildings and they blend so beautifully into the gardens and countryside.
I love to walk around old cemetries.....there is such a wonderful sense of peace and solitude. Are we alone, maybe not......

alison said...

Ahhh! You've got me longing for summer! What stunning photos!

NellJean said...

What a grand tour! Thank you for taking us there.

You asked a question on my blog: Stuart is the webmaster at Blotanical. He also has a blog, which you can find by searching Stuart on the Blotanist list.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindee~~ Please forgive my confusion. You'll see it when you read the message I left on your Blot. Plot. I think the problem is Cynthiae and Cindee and not realizing you are one. To add to the swirl, I think there might be another Cindee on board. I'll figure it out, don't you worry. LOL

Your blog is beautiful. I love your tour but the sidebar photos are also of interest. I think I'll do a bit of wandering, if I may.

Go Ducks! Happy New Year.

Moonstone Gardens said...

Yes, I tend to confuse people easily, Ha. And there is another Cindee on Blotanical. The only other person I know who spells her name the same way.

Anna said...

I enjoyed seeing Stourhead through your eyes. I have visited once a few years ago on a hot summer day. It left a lasting impression!

Carol said...

Thank you for the beautiful tour Cynthiae... lovely photos! I have just found your blog on blotanical. I think it quite beautiful. I will be back. Carol