So after our trip to the Chiswick Carboot Sale the other week, my friend and I went to Chiswick House and Gardens, which she had heard to much about – and boy was I in for a surprise! I entered the grounds thinking that it would be just another lovely park and yet this is the view that greeted us:
My friend and I had a little wander outside the house before we decided that it was time for some afternoon tea – of course! It was one of those warm late summer Sundays so we sat outside and enjoyed the most delicious cream tea:
We then continued on to having a walk in the garden, which was just so stunning with soft gravel paths and perfectly maintained lawns with flowers of all sorts covering the grounds:
The gardens at Chiswick cover an impressive 65 acres, so there is plenty to explore. We walked down a hidden pathway that ended up by a tall monument and a beautiful rose garden, before continuing our stroll past some impressive old buildings and statues (you will see a gorgeous lion a bit further down in the post!)
I learnt that Chiswick House Gardens is the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement and that it has been the inspiration for some stunning gardens around the world – including Central Park in New York. It was originally created by Lord Burlington and William Kent in 1729 and you can probably see that they drew inspiration from Italy and Italian landscape painting. Before becoming this romantic and luscious garden that it is today, the style of the garden was very formal, designed in the renaissance style. One of my favourite things about the garden is that there are so many little paths that you can follow, which means that you are bound to run into new and unexpected details throughout your visit!
For all of you that adore camellias, a visit to the Conservatory is a must! The 6th Duke of Devonshire commissioned this grand conservatory and had it designed by Samuel Ware, who completed it in 1813. It stood as the forerunner of many subsequent glass buildings, among others the extraordinary Crystal Palace in Sydenham, London. As for the collection of camellias (a flower commonly found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia) the Conservatory still features some plants surviving from those planted in 1828. No surprise that this is thought to be the oldest camellia collection in England, and possibly also outside China and Japan! According to the Chiswick House and Garden website it includes what is thought to be one of only two surviving ‘Middlemist Reds’ in the world.
When it comes to visiting these stunning gardens around the UK you will always have a unique visit, no matter what time of the year you decide to go. Mid-winter invites us to a steaming hot cup of tea and cake after a walk in the winter garden, whereas springtime shows an explosion of colours and beauty… not to mention the enchanting autumn coat in yellow, gold, orange and green that you will experience within the next few months! So give yourself a little treat in the shape of a visit to this beautiful haven that is Chiswick House and Gardens, and do tell us about your visit afterwards!