Thursday, 19 November 2009

"H" for Historic Houses with gardens

There are so many exquisite gardens beginning with "H" that I can't fit them into one entry, so I'm concentrating on members of the Historic Houses Association today, because you won't get finer architecture than this and the gardens are spectacular too! If, like me, you are interested in visiting gardens, this is a wonderful organisation to join - you pay an annual fee and you can visit most gardens free - you also get the quarterly magazine which gives you news about member properties.


Heale Garden near Salisbury in Wiltshire is heavenly! A fabulous house (above) provides the backdrop to a truly wonderful garden, designed by Harold Peto, which starts blooming in spring. You'll really enjoy the endless vistas of daffodils here, with a tributary of the River Avon flowing behind. This is one of my favourite English gardens - there's always something to see and the grounds are beautiful. There's even a Japanese garden, complete with bright red bridge (below) that was brought over from Japan at the turn of last century and assembled by four Japanese gardeners!


Hestercombe Gardens (below) near Taunton in Somerset are another Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens triumph - he provided the architectural interest, with rills, pools, steps, pergola and orangery and Miss Jekyll used her talents to make the most of the flamboyant planting. It's a spectacular combination and has the added advantage of wonderful views over Taunton Vale. Definitely worth making a detour to see and there are so many other wonderful gardens locally including gems like Lytes Cary and Cothay Manor (not members of the HHA), that you may want to stay locally and visit them all!



Hole Park in Kent (right) is another must-see! A lovely early 18th-century house, set in the heart of the country, with 15 acres of gardens which feature many lovely statues; fine, tall, specimen trees, and wonderful vistas over the surrounding countryside. I'm told the bluebell displays are magnificent, but haven't seen them for myself. I loved this garden, but do check website for opening times.


Houghton Lodge in Wiltshire (below) is just a stone's throw from Heale House and enjoys a fine hilltop position overlooking the River Test, which is known for some of the finest fishing in England! The house is certainly unusual and the gardens are lovely, especially in springtime with the endless drifts of daffodils. There is also a lovely walled garden and lots of topiary, plus a hydroponicum (where plants are cultivated without soil).


12 comments:

  1. Hidcote is one we loved and visited when we were in England 6 years ago. ;) So many beautiful English gardens.

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  2. Oh my, such beautiful, noble homes to house such gorgeous gardens! Thanks for the tours. :)

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  3. Wonderful photos, they're making me wish it was summer again now!

    Such beautiful gardens :)

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  4. Endless drifts of daffodils, please, I want to visit this garden.
    Perhaps my dh and I could spend a few weeks in Great Britain, visiting gardens. He could ride his mountain bike in between, and I could visit all the C.S. Lewis country, including his home, The Kilns.
    Maybe we will do that, someday soon. I love the garden tours you share here.

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  5. Hi Tiggerlot~~ You are so blessed to have such a bounty of gardens to tour. The Japanese bridge photo is my favorite but they're all gorgeous.

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  6. Oh my goodness. Houghton Lodge literally took my breath away. What a beautiful and romantic place that is. I am positively gushing over this beauty.

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  7. Hi,
    Beautiful garden pictures.

    I have one Award in my blog that I want to give to you for you nice blog. And for your kind comments on my blog.
    Have a nice weekend
    Gunilla

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  8. No wonder England is considered the gardening capitol of the world, with so many beautiful gardens. I am always amazed looking at these pictures.

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  9. I so envy you living in England. To have so many estate gardens all over the place is incredible and even more so to be able to visit them.

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  10. What beautiful gardens! It is my dream to visit some of the gardens of England sometime.Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  11. The snowdrop walk is really nice at Heale House. As is having a cup of coffee and a cake by the river.

    Did you see the topiary dragon at Houghton Lodge?

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