Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stourhead, A Garden For All Seasons

Stourhead Gardens in Wiltshire has long been one of my favourite places. It is the most photogenic of places at any time of year. Some of my favourite shots of Stourhead are now available on Red Bubble and in my new Imagekind Store

The gardens were designed by Henry Hoare II and laid out between 1741 and 1780 in a classical 18th-century design set around a large lake, achieved by damming a small stream. The inspiration behind their creation were the painters Claude Lorrain, Poussin and, in particular, Gaspar Dughet, who painted Utopian-type views of Italian landscapes. It is similar in style to the landscape gardens at Stowe.

Included in the garden are a number of temples designed to show off the Hoare family’s education and wealth. On one hill overlooking the gardens there stands an obelisk and King Alfred’s Tower (a 50-metre-tall, brick folly designed by Henry Flitcroft in 1772); on another hill the temple of Apollo provides a vantage point to survey the magnificent rhododendrons, water, cascades and temples. Amongst the woodland surrounding the site there are also two Iron Age hill forts: Whitesheet Hill and Park Hill Camp. The gardens are home to a large collection of trees and shrubs from around the world.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: