"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

Kitchen Garden

Aster Garden - I bet this will look stunning later in the summer.

Scented Garden

Walking back towards the house

The Terrace

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.

Main Hall

Long Gallery - lots of porcelain and art and even a pianist playing 1930's tunes!

Stained Glass and Staircase

Dining Room

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!


ShySongbird said...

Well that was a bit of a shock! A nice one I hasten to add :-) Upton House is very close to home so consequently I have been there many times both as a child, with my parents, and in adulthood. It is a lovely place to visit and how ever many times I go, there is always something of interest.

I have visited the gardens more often than the house but the art and porcelain collections are unforgettable and really are well worth seeing. I must say I have never been serenaded by a piano player there though!

So glad the weather was kind to you. The gardens certainly do look wonderful on a sunny Summer's day and yes, there are usually lots of butterflies to be seen fluttering along those beautiful borders, I'm glad you saw some firsts for the year.

A really lovely post again Caroline and beautiful photos too.

Good to see your latest moths on the previous post, well done with the IDs :-)

Pete said...

ta for sharing. that art deco bathroom is fab isn't it.

Rohrerbot said...

That looks like an amazing day. Those gardens are beautiful....I especially love the red and black poppy! What an incredible flower. I love the shot of the shelfy trees.....I don't know what they're called but they look really neat. I think I would have been there the whole day....and vegetable soup sounds pretty good:)

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Hi Jan you certainly live in a lovely part of the country -its beautiful round there. I was really thrilled with Upton House and Garden and it must be lovely to have it so close to home and be able to visit it often :)

I really would like to go back again - realised when I got home and finally read the guide book that there was a lot we had missed :(

I am glad you enjoyed the post - its always strange to see somewhere you visit a lot featured on someone else's blog!!!

Just been emptying the moth trap from last night - don't think I will do so well on the id's this time!!

Pete - Many thanks!!! The bathroom is a stunner :)

Rohrerbot - Many thanks Chris - The shelfy trees are Cedars of Lebanon - really impressive trees :) There were loads of poppy varieties - I don't think I have ever seen so many!

Rohrerbot said...

So do you remember that link I sent you on the UA moth/insect lady? She just went up to the mountains south of Tucson and set up a moth tent. If you haven't check it out, you should. Holy moly....several days have passed and I'm still in awe at all the bugs she found. There is this moth that is really beautiful. I had NO idea that we had such biodiversity here with bugs. I usually go to those mountains for bird and other animal photography....but I can attest that the bug life is pretty active as my legs and arms are pretty well bit up:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - Hi again Chris - I did check out the link at the time and thought how brilliant the blog was - absolutely fascinating. Thanks so much for the reminder - I have revisited and that moth is superb :) I've added the blog to my blog list now so I don't miss any of her posts! The bugs are totally amazing - thanks again - so glad I have seen that moth!!. Hope your bites get better soon - not good :( All the best Caroline