That last Monday of the August bank holiday was glorious. All the more delicious when you know the dappled sunshine is nearly at an end. I couldn’t resist snapping my host’s garden to share with you.
I love the romance of the formal garden, with curvaceous yew hedges, sun dial and perfect croquet lawn. The there’s the kitchen garden, with raised beds full of raspberry canes, classical espalier apple trees and flowering courgettes. We were sent home to London with sweet peas, punnets of greengages and fresh lettuce. Such a treat to eat lovingly grown home produce.
The crowning glory is the original glass house. Full of tomato vines (my favourite smell) and seedlings. In times of avocado on toast, 365 days of the year, it’s easy to overlook the huge social and industrial change in Victorian/Edwardian society the glass house represents. With the window tax abolished, you didn’t need to be a Lord to grow an orchid in December. You could stoke the boiler with coke and produce a pineapple centre piece for your dinner part guests to “ooh’ and ‘aaah’ over. Lovely!
I always marvel at how functional things were designed to be beautiful back then; the cast iron brackets and staging (flooring over the heating pipes) are exquisite. So I’ll leave you with a short playlist from the film ‘The Theory of Everything.” Perfect for wandering round the garden at this time of year, in awe of nature – the ultimate designer!