Stowe Visit or Holly First Blog!

A pre-Christmas treat for the design team, we took ourselves off to Stowe for the morning for an amble (or rather’ power walk’, given the amount we still have to do in the office before Christmas!) around the landscape gardens. What an amazing treat it was! We were quite astonished as stunning vista after stunning vista opened itself out. Every way you look is a beautiful view, an impressive piece of architecture, an interesting sculpture or, in most cases, all of the above! Our first surprise was the absolutely fabulous grotto, which appears out of nowhere as you follow the path towards the Elysian Fields…

…in case we hadn’t realised…

…inside was beautifully candlelit and with the mini waterfall into the lake outside and the small water-fountain inside, there was soothing water sounds throughout. Ruth has set us our 2012 challenge…which of you lovely potential clients would like a grotto in your garden??!

This element of surprise was very much the theme throughout. Something new can be seen every few paces. Suddenly a monument appears from between the trees or you turn a corner and, lo and behold, a temple!  A little further on from the grotto we passed a shrubbery which turned out to be hiding this lovely bridge…

 

 

 

 

10 paces further on…

wow! lovely monument…

 

 

 

10 paces further on…

a temple! … I think I’ve made my point…

What also impressed us was that the scale and grandeur of Stowe is such that one quickly realises that all of these things are likely to be appreciated  to some greater decree from a different position in the parklands and so you are encouraged to explore the grounds further.

One of our favourite moments was coming around a bend and discovering an arch which revealed this…

 

 

 

 

Bleak and blustery though it was, it was nonetheless a breathtaking view.

We also got very excited about the Ha-ha. Built apparently to display the owners wealth and grandeur, as if we hadn’t got the idea already! Apparently it’s the longest ha-ha ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may think this is a picture of the gothic church (spied from many different points around the gardens) but actually we had all fallen in love with the tree in the foreground. It’s a beautifully old Quercus Ilex with an unusually squat habit…

 

 

Anyone want a throne made of the dead tree in their back garden?

We came away from the visit in absolute awe of the scope of Stowe and also a keen desire to introduce a bit of mystery and surprise into the gardens we design. A challenge given the difference in scale between Stowe and your standard Buckinghamshire back garden but Stowe definitely still held some good hints and tips! In the meantime, please do contact us if you want a grotto or wooden throne and definitely give us a call if you have a grand country house you need re-landscaping! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some of the best images of the visit…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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