A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Saturday, 11 August 2012
Upton House and Gardens
I had a day out with a friend last week and we decided to visit Upton House and Gardens in Warwickshire - a place neither of us had been to before. We were really lucky with the weather as the rain forecast failed to arrive :)
Walking along the North Drive towards the House. The Estate was bought in 1927 by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted as a weekend country retreat and has since been gifted to the National Trust.
After an early lunch of Vegetable Soup in the Restaurant we decided to visit the Gardens first.
Rear of House and Terrace
As you walk across the huge main lawn with five eighteenth century Cedar of Lebanon trees on the right-hand side there is no sign of the gardens.
When you eventually reach the end of the lawn (an area known charmingly as the Ha Ha!) you suddenly see spread before you the most beautiful large terraced garden leading down to a pool far below.
The gardens were redesigned by Kitty Lloyd Jones at the request of Lady Bearsted
Borders in the Top Terrace Garden and Views of the gardens below
It was delightful to actually see quite a lot of butterflies throughout the gardens - Small and Large Whites, my first Green Veined White of the year, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and as shown in the photos below my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year.
Lady Bearsted's Garden
A statue of Pan (Greek god of woods and fields) in the Rose Garden
On reaching the bottom of the gardens we walked round Mirror Pool - lots of dragonflies though too far away to identify let alone photograph and House Martins swooping low over the water. There were also red finned Rudd in the pool and lots of horsetails and water lilies.
Looking back towards the Terraced Gardens
One side of the pool was bordered by lots more flowers and many varieties of poppies.
We then continued to explore the gardens as we walked back up the terrace.
Herbaceous Border - full of bees, hoverflies and insects
Aster Garden - I bet this will look stunning later in the summer.
Walking back towards the house
We just had time for a quick look round the house itself
The photos I took inside the house were not very good - usual excuses of no flash allowed, low light and ridiculously low shutter speeds but here's a few of the slightly better ones to give you an idea.
The house is set out to give you the idea of what it would have been like to attend a millionnaire's 1930's house party. Viscount Bearsted altered the house extensively to provide space for his growing art and porcelain collection whilst installing guests rooms and entertainments for his weekend parties.
Long Gallery - lots of porcelain and art and even a pianist playing 1930's tunes!
Stained Glass and Staircase
Lady Bearsted's Bedroom
and her Art Deco bathroom - this was splendid (its a shame the photos don't really do it justice!)
We finished off with a visit to the shop - lots of nice sculptures for sale
Sadly out of my price range but I did buy a nice plant!
Sorry for the huge amount of photos - got a bit carried away and couldn't decide what to leave out! but I hope if you haven't been to the gardens and house you will have enjoyed the tour!
Many thanks to J for making it such a lovely day out!
There were quite a few parts of the house and gardens we didn't get time to visit so hopefully I will return!
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.