|The house - tantalisingly closed and shuttered - it used to be used as Fire Brigade headquarters|
There has been a house and garden here for many centuries, although the current house was remodeled in the late 19C. The gardens and landscape surrounding the mansion demonstrate styles from the 18C through the 19C and early 20C - very much two centuries of garden history on one site. The gardens were very overgrown until the 1970's when the Somerset County Council started to undertake restoration. It was then that the original Gertrude Jekyll planting plans were discovered in a derelict potting shed - fairy story stuff! Over a twenty year period, The Great Plat and other parts of the Edwardian Garden were painstakingly restored.
Getrude Jekyll often worked with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Whilst Jekyll designed the planting, Lutyens planned the framework and hard aspects of the landscape, paths, walls, steps and so on. This combinations of geometric skeleton overlaid with soft informal planting was very much the style they developed in many schemes.
|The Great Plat with the pergola behind|
|Planting detail of the Great Plat - an odd mix but said to be authentic - cannas & gladioli to follow|
|The Orangery by Lutyens - licensed now for weddings and civil partnerships - dream location!|
|One of the two Rill Gardens - typical Jekyll/Lutyens|
|Moon Pond at the head of the rill|
|Through the pergola|
|Detail of Lutyens stonework with naturalised planting|
|The Grey Walk - one of the restored borders authentic planting|
|A reproduction of a Lutyens designed seat|
|Just one detail of the beautifully restored garden architecture|
|Some nicely framed views|
|Updated caption - Corydalis ochroleuca - 'a superior wall weed' - thanks Chad for the ID again!|
|Moon window - just one of many details|
|Tiny white clematis - which one is it? Chad - any idea? Probably C. terniflora or flammula, he says.|
Late in the 20C, the Victorian Terrace was also restored and now displays authentic Victorian bedding schemes.
|Bedding on the Victorian Terrace|
Also in the 1990's work started on restoring the landscape garden. This was originally created in the 18C by Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, who inherited the estate in 1750. He created a series of Arcadian landscapes based very much on classical scenes captured by Italian painters working in the 17C. (Most people have heard of Capability Brown who created similar scenes.) By the late 20C this landscape garden like many others, had almost disappeared under woodland growth and the buildings had become derelict or disintegrated entirely. The lake had silted up without trace and the Great Cascade disappeared under vegetation. Restoration started in 1995, clearing excess tree growth, dredging the lakes and restoring the buildings and features. Pathways were opened up, once again linking the attractions on a circular walk which was originally planned as entertainment for a gentleman's guests in the 18C.
|The Great Cascade the feeds the lake and also an early hydro-electricity plant|
|The Mill Pond - fed from the pear pond|
|The rustic seat|
|View from Temple Arbour|
|The Mausoleum - just a name - no skeletons!|
|The Octagon Summerhouse|
That's it for tonight's blog but I've had a busy day at the Eden Project - WOW - read about it next time!