Wednesday, July 13, 2011

THE GREAT BRITISH GARDEN TOUR DAY 9

Damson Cottage, the B&B where we were to spend the next 2 nights was within walking distance of the village of Lacock. We headed off to the village to find the George Hotel, where our landlady had booked us a table for dinner.

Just a few minutes away, through the kissing gate, and across the fields of grazing sheep.



If you are a fan of British TV productions, then you would be familiar with the village. It has been used on numerous occasions in such period productions as Pride and Prejudice, Cranford and the film Wolfman.

To step onto the streets of Lacock is like stepping back into the past. No sign of the trappings of the 21st Century; telephone wires, satellite dishes, modern lamp posts. Cover the streets with sand and straw and you could be back in medieval England. The only thing that rather spoils the image is the motor car. Of course, people live in these quaint rose covered cottages and there are no garages, so they must park on the streets.



British gardeners have mastered the art of growing plants on walls.

Walking around the cloisters, to the sound of a Gregorian chant, was very emotive.



Then seeing these ancient paintings on the wall. They were found by accident when part of the wall fell down. Layers of time.

Inside the house we were to learn about the Oriel window, subject of the first photographic negative made by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1835. Using the camera has become so important in my life that, in the museum, I was to learn the whole history of this instrument.



The British are also masters at using bits of this and that to pave.

Once again we ate lunch in the car. This time a Melton Mowbray and a glass of cider from the bottle of cider we bought at Barrington Court.

Following lunch we set off through the Wiltshire countryside, only stopping to snap a picture of one of their white horses on the hillside. Probably not as ancient as most people think. Maybe around 300 years. This clearly shows the underlying chalk.

We were on our way to the ancient megalithic henge at Avebury. It came as a complete surprise to us that there was a garden here too. That of Avebury Manor, once the site of 12th Century Benedictine monastery.

The current manor was built in the 16th century and is well know for its clipped topiary and boxwood hedges.







We were to see this honeysuckle in many of the gardens we visited.

Leaving the gardens we walked around the stone circle which is the largest in the world and believed to date back 4,500 years. The man made trench surrounding the henge is over 30 ' high. The stones were toppled at some point in their history and it was only in the last century that they were righted.


Now sheep graze peacefully and shelter beneath the massive stones.

We walked the whole of the circle along the top of the earth workings. The grass over underlying chalk has been worn away by the countless footsteps.

We returned to Lacock for a very nice but expensive dinner, at The Sign of the Angel. Tomorrow we were to head north to spend the night with friends on their farm and then on to our old home town to stay with friends for the bank holiday weekend.

11 comments:

  1. Fabulous stuff! Oh how I wish I could just get on a plane and take off over there. Simply adored the rose covered cottage and the stone circle would have been something to see. Such beautiful gardens.

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  2. You two just look so happy in your jackets! Looks as though your trip was entirely lovely ;)

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  3. What an incredible trip. That white horse has been there like that for 300 years? Have never heard of that- interesting. The weather appears to have been perfect on each day you have posted.

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  4. The more you show us, the more I'm amazed. I think I would have stayed all summer...and maybe longer. Yes, the British have mastered walls and roses to perfection!
    I'm so glad you showed the Talbot photo. I have several books on the history of famous photographers and I'm always wondering how it all started. I, too, love photography and especially the early photos of the masters. I believe Talbot also photographed an old door with a broom leaning next to it. It's one of my favorites.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ :-)

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  5. Enjoy following your travels.

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  6. Thanks again for those cool scenes, and such incredible design work, from the larger land forms and plant massees, to the fitting of smaller rocks in the path.

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  7. I've been following this blog for some time, Lancashire Rose, and I'm constantly impressed by your photography. As a lifelong gardener, I'm interested in seeing garden structure and design--as in your brilliant shots from the tower at Sissinghurst--and in seeing plants in scale and context. Most garden photographers are obsessed with close-ups of flowers and fruit, foliage or container combinations--which tell us nothing about how a plant will look in the garden. But your sharp, carefully exposed and beautifully composed photos are truly worth a thousand words.
    Many thanks to you for sharing your wonderful life.

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  8. Thank you all for coming on this trip with me. Of course some of the places we visited are not as gardeney as others. Still lots more to come. I just feel I need to have a record of the whole trip and this seems to be the best way to do it.
    Tom- You are so sweet to say those nice things about my photographs. I am with you. I really like to see the long shots of gardens. I'm really more interested in the design than the plants- although I do love the plants too. Keep on coming back. I love it when people make comments.

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  9. That chalk is amazing! My part of the world has no chalk for thousands of km so I find the idea of something so white just below the turf to be fascinating. And Tom is right about your photos; I love the way you show garden design.

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  10. One of my favorite parts of England. Thanks for the memories :-)

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