The Art of English Gardening

Back  in February, when I was suffering through the torturous Snowpocalypse, it was really hard to believe that warm weather would ever return again.

Springtime always makes me think of England. Although their winters are even longer and darker then around here, they sure know how to take advantage of the weather they do have, and you will find the most beautiful gardens in the palaces and stately homes that dot the country.

Here are some of my favorites:

Hampton Court Palace:

This elaborate 16th century pleasure palace originally used by King Henry VIII is well known for it’s spectacular grounds. The current landscaping was done in the 17th century to go along with Christopher Wren’s renovations. There are private knot gardens, impressive statues and an elaborate hedge maze.

Chartwell House

During the twentieth century this was the home of Winston Churchill, and the beautiful gardens here were the inspiration for much of his painting. The house and gardens have been maintained the way he left them: terraced gardens, a rose walk and a lake garden.

Ightham Mote

This medeival period historic house dates back to the 14th century and has poshly manicured gardens and lawns. It’s also, of course, surrounded by an actual moat. It’s grounds are distinctive for including the only Grade I listed dog kennel:

Kensington Gardens

These gardens were once a private part of Kensington palace but are now a city park open to the public. The park contains two of my favorite London landmarks: The Albert Memorial and Peter Pan.

This list barely scratches the surface of the many beautiful gardens associated with palaces and historic homes around England. They are often overlooked but the are one of England’s most interesting art forms- and a photographer’s dream.




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