The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Peace and Tranquility – Pictures of an English Garden…

…if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden…

These days on the cusp between September and October have been gloriously sunny and warm so it seemed appropriate for us to take a wander around nearby Sheffield Park. With grassy slopes, peaceful lakes and sweeping trees it’s a fitting memorial to the genius of Lancelot “Capability” Brown who originally laid it out 250 years ago.

Brown and other pioneers of English 18th century garden design rejected the formal, geometric patterns of the French tradition, exemplified by Versailles. Instead they endeavoured to create an ideal landscape reflecting the English countryside.

Rolling lawns, clumps of trees, all outlined against the sky and mirrored by the waters of lakes and pools, each one edged with paths and crossed by elegantly sculptured bridges….

Brown likened his work to that of the poet..”Here I put a comma, there, when it’s necessary to cut the view, I put a parenthesis; there I end it with a period and start on another theme.”

One key point to remember is that this could never be “instant” gardening….it had to be a vision that might take as long as fifty years to reach its final flourish.

He that plants trees loves others beside himself

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in

Over the years subsequent generations have developed the garden in sympathy with Brown’s vision. On one edge is a path leading upwards….

….to a cricket pitch, laid out by a nineteenth century owner. Still the venue for rural enthusiasts to strive for local glory it also has an important place in the history of England’s cricketing annals for hosting one of the earliest matches between England and Australia in 1884.

The photographer photographed….by my Blackberry…

posted by david in Gardens,History,Outdoors,UK and have Comments Off on Peace and Tranquility – Pictures of an English Garden…

Springtime in an English garden – “To cultivate a garden is to walk with God”

About 15 minutes drive from our house are the timeless gardens of Nymans in the village of Handcross, West Sussex.

Ludwig Messel, a wealthy stockbroker, bought the Nymans estate in 1890 and spent the rest of his life creating what became one of the most beautiful gardens in England. After Ludwig died in 1915 his son Leonard continued his father’s work and on his death in 1953 he bequeathed the estate to The National Trust.

When we arrived ealier this week the grounds were waking from the long sleep of winter and my wife captured these moments on camera.

It was the first warm day of the year so we walked into the woods on the edge of the estate

The starkness of the still wintering trees was reflected in the waters of the pool…

We strolled along a magical path…

Then up the hill towards a lonely tree..

To our left was the ridge that carried the road to Handcross with the tower on it’s crest.

Then back to the grace of the formal garden..

Echoing Wordsworth’s most famous poem

Around the corner another sudden blaze of colour….

…and past a door guarding a place of secret whispers…

…and every footfall reveals the tiniest emblem of nature’s rebirth.

It is remarkable that since Nymans Garden was created in 1890 it has seen only three Head Gardeners: James Comber from 1895-1953; Cecil Nice, who began working at Nymans in 1924 and succeeded James Comber as Head Gardener in 1953; and currently David Masters, who took over when Cecil retired in 1980.

Who cannot envy those three men for as we walked around the beautiful grounds we felt certain that Christian Bovee was right when he said “to cultivate a garden is to walk with God”
posted by david in Uncategorized and have Comments Off on Springtime in an English garden – “To cultivate a garden is to walk with God”

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