The Red House at Bexleyheath
21 pics. The Red House is in a continuous state of renovation and hence a little sparse inside. Nevertheless, it is intriguing, full of history and surrounded by gardens that are both beautiful and tranquil. The house was designed by Phillip Web for his friend William Morris. Both were very creative and have a long history of respect from their peers. There is a lot more of the history at the end of this post and here is the website ⇒ with entry fees.
Nearby is the sumptuous Danson House ⇐ and it is not very far to the more ancient Hall Place ⇐.
In Walthamstow (North London) there is the free William Morris Gallery ⇐ which is well worth a look.
The murals are perhaps not as vibrant as they appear here, but this is what the camera saw and hasn’t been enhanced. I think it is perhaps because of the quite extraordinary light from the windows.
The history is readable by right-clicking on the image, select “Open in New Tab” from the pop-up menu and then left-click on the image to magnify. Return here by exiting the new tab.
Of course the last say ⇐ must be given to the flowers who reliably appear year after year.
The London Garden Museum in Lambeth
The London Garden Museum is situated in and around the old church of St Mary adjacent to Lambeth Palace. The church has origins dating back almost a thousand years. It was deconsecrated in 1972 and saved from demolition by Rosemary Nicholson. By 1977, Rosemary and her husband John had converted the old church into the world’s first Museum of Garden History. Rosemary and John were admirers of John Tradescent ⇒ who is buried at St Mary and is credited as being the first great British gardener and plant hunter. In more recent times the venue has become known as The Garden Museum.
In 2016 the museum was closed for remodeling, making use of a Heritage Lottery grant. It was re-opened in May 2017. Unfortunately the beautiful Knot Garden ⇒ has been lost during the remodeling and the external gardens still need some work. The external gardens and café are free to enter but there is an entrance fee for the museum. Website ⇒.
The seemingly humble lawnmower has been of considerable influence. Before its invention, by Edwin Budding in 1830, grass was cut by scythe. Only the rich could afford such a labour intensive luxury. Even so it was only rough cut compared with today’s standards. It was because of the lawnmower we have the English garden and advancements in lawn tennis, lawn bowls, cricket and golf.
The inside of the old church is in good condition and alongside of some gardening history are there is some quite stunning stained glass.
The potato, which has become an important food staple, was first brought to Europe from Peru by the Spanish in the latter part of the 16th century although Sir Walter Rayleigh is credited with bringing them to England a little later. In Britain we refer to the potato chip as a crisp and the British chip is a kind of thick french fry. Fish and chips being our main contribution to international cuisine. 😀
The Ancient Order of Free Gardeners began in Scotland in the 17th century. The ancient order’s fortunes have been somewhat variable, more ⇒ . Personally I think making people believe one’s services are for free is asking for trouble. 😀
A good view of this window is difficult because somebody put a garden shed in the way. Really. I think it’s an experiment in avant-garden 😀 . I wrote them a note on the subject. They haven’t written back.
Although close to a busy thoroughfare and still a work in progress, the garden is free and a pleasant place to sit. 🙂
Ightham Mote (pron; I tham) is a well preserved medieval manor house that was built in the 14th century and is near to Sevenoaks in Kent. The approach is down into a wooded dell that is not at all dingily.
Their website ⇒ and the wiki history ⇒.
The manor house contains an interesting museum of artifacts from various eras (here ⇐ ) and is surrounded by very pleasant gardens and an extensive array of footpaths throughout the surrounding area. Ightham mote has never been inhabited by very ambitious people or involved in dramatic events. Its gentle past is perhaps responsible for its very peaceful atmosphere and has made it a pleasure to visit. 🙂
Across the bridge and into the courtyard.
One enters the house under the rose covered arch. Note the large dog kennel. There is a picture of its inhabitant later.
Outside is just the beginning of the gardens and rural walks. Turn around and there are the stables.
Inside the stables there are a few pictures including one of the dog who inhabited the courtyard kennel.
There is an extraordinary painting inside the house ⇐ and I hope that you enjoyed your visit.
Waddesdon Manor and Gardens
17 pics. Waddesdon Manor is near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The manor was completed in 1898 as a sumptuous weekend residence for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild and has passed through four generations of Rothschilds until 1958 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
The extraordinary interiors are here ⇐ and for more information and visiting please see the website ⇒.
Above is the North Fountain where the estate shuttle stops. Turn around and there is the manor house.
The sloping balustrades of the turret follow the line of the internal spiral staircase. For a closer look at an image; right-click on an image, choose “Open Link in New Tab” and then left-click on the opened image to magnify.
A view back along the drive from the south-west corner of the manor house. The grounds are a little short of flowers at this time of year (early May) but it is a quiet time to visit.
The house has an extensive wine cellar that is open to visitors. The two black towers on the right of the above picture are modern art made of wine bottles. I suppose the artist had to have something to drink whilst musing on the composition and then found inspiration in the empties 🙂 .
A view of the rear and the parterre garden.
A view of the parterre garden from a rear second story window.
From the south-west corner of the house there is path that leads to the aviary.
I’m not always comfortable about caging animals but these are well kept and have an easy and extended life. Many of the birds are rare and colorful. Unfortunately most of the them were playing find the composer, otherwise known as Haydn Seek.
The grounds are extensive and a great place for a picnic.
The rose garden was not quite in bloom (early May).
So it’s goodbye from me.
And, it’s goodbye from ‘im. Biscuit, what biscuit ?. It twasn’t me guv.
I hope you enjoyed your visit and enjoy the remarkable interiors ⇐.
Ham House and the Oak Tree with an Eye
If you got redirected by Google Images, Kew Place is here ⇐
19 pics. I didn’t notice the eye (right in the middle) whilst I was taking the photograph at the back of Ham House. It hasn’t been meddled with and probably has a rational explanation. There is probably a rational response like aaaargh.
The Ham House website ⇒ and about haunted Ham House ⇒.
You can get to Ham House using the 371 bus to Sandy Lane from near Richmond rail station or via York Gardens ⇐ (please check the post for bus and ferry travel) and then visit Ham House and return to Richmond rail using the 371 from Sandy Lane.
The above is a bath. It has a stool inside to sit on and get bathed.
The peeping Oak tree is just outside the dairy.
The 4th Baronet, Sir Lyonel Tollemache, who kindly gave Ham House to the National Trust in 1948.
York House Gardens and Riverside
21 pics with more statues. York House Gardens are on Sion Road (in Twickenham) off Richmond Road on the H22 bus route passing right outside Richmond rail station (sss-simple). For essential works, the gardens will be closed from 6 pm on 17th to 23rd July 2016 and from 1 pm on 23rd July 2016.
Near the entrance is this lawn overlooked by York House (not open to the public). Along the other side of that wall is a path that leads to:-
… what looks like a perfect lawn but is really a pond covered in algae.
Turning back to the end of the first lawn, there is a bridge.
Over the bridge is a lawn and small pond.
Turning right there is:-.
Florence and the gang. The players (perhaps you would like to give them names) are:-
The director is taking a little time out for domestic chores.
“Salad or bedding, bedding or salad ? Both ! yay. 🙂
Facing the tableau and turning left one comes to the upper reaches of the Thames looking down river. On the right is Eel Pie Island which is inhabited by artists. There are cruises along this stretch of the river, passing the other side of the island, going to Hampton Court from Westminster or Richmond (the second is recommended), more here ⇐.
Continuing along the path in this direction comes to a dead-end but the other way comes to:-
… Champions Wharf. Turning right and then right again, one is on Riverside and passes:-
… Dial House.
Then, under the same bridge one passed over in York gardens. Caution: This is a no-through road, but residents have use of it so there is occasional traffic.
There is all-day lighting and, in the distance, is the White Swan Pub.
This is from just passed the White Swan with a beer garden to the left which is just on the river and occasionally gets a little covering of water. The pub is very popular so, if you would like a table/meal, it is good idea to book. For more about the White Swan and booking please click here ⇒.
Further along Riverside is the Orleans House Gallery. One can photograph inside but not when its closed which includes Mondays, which is when I was there. More information is here ⇒.
Continuing along Riverside to its end one could turn left and then right along a pathway to Marble Hill House, which is open for guided tours at weekends in the summer but I don’t have any information about photographing it. There is more information here ⇒.
Alternatively, one could turn right at the end of Riverside and take the Hammertons Ferry ⇒ (spring to autumn) across to Ham House ⇐ .
The ferry on its way back, with a very young pilot.
Leeds Castle Grounds
20 pics. Leeds Castle in Kent that is. The long lake beside the castle and the path that passes the formal gardens and leads to the playground, maze, falconry display and a cheeky Jackdaw. Castle interiors here. See the castle website and tickets are valid for a year of repeat visits, yay. In the meantime enjoy ~.
This is “Elsie” the land train from ticket office to the castle entrance (50 pence each). The walk is about 10-15 minutes and passes through some pleasant gardens.
Approaching the castle.
The time of my visit coincided with a flower festival. More of that in another post.
There is a cafe and restaurant and a small dog-collar museum.
Past the cafe and restaurant are the gardens.
And, the tiered gardens beside the long lake and a view of the playground fort.
“This year I will be mostly wearing my nose in the air”. | “She will too, she’s such a boy. I’ve got a long skirt you know”
There is a maze (keep turning left) with a turret at the center. Beneath the turret is a grotto complete with sounds of the sea, a doom laden voice reciting doom laden poetry and a tunnel to the way out. 🙂
“And what are you laughing at. Just because I’ve got a comical looking face. I’ll have you know that I’m part of the entertainment”. “They don’t give these umbrellas to just anybody”.
“From me, Jack Daw, and all the other birdies, we hope you enjoyed your visit and do come again”. 🙂
Osterley Park Gardens
Ossterley Park Gardens are to the rear of the house and adjacent to two pleasant lakes with some wildfowl. Entry to the gardens is by ticket only. A post of the flora is here and the the sumptuous house interiors/sdmission/onfo here : -)
Kenwood House Gardens
This is the front of Kenwood House with entrance to the rear, gardens to the left and cafe/shop to the right. The interiors are here and flowers are here. Entrance is free to both house and gardens and non-commercial photographers are welcome inside.
The nearest underground rail station is Archway and the 210 bus can be taken from stand E to the next stop E (near Compton Ave) and then a short walk to Kenwood House.
This is one of the most pleasant and peaceful gardens and park-lands that I have visited. Most of the flowers are Rhododendron in a great variety of colours. There will be close ups in the next post.
Kenwood House Gardens
Just to the left of the Dairy (small white building) in the distance just beyond the gardens, is a statue by Henry Moore.
Henry Moore – Two Piece Reclining Figure No 5 . Myself, I might have called it “Dreams of a Jive Bunny”. 🙂
Back to the gardens.
Spot the Gorilla
This is a view to the south of Kenwood Park and beyond is Hampstead Heath. If you look closely, just to the right of center, one might see a huge green shaggy gorilla with three fingers in the water. 🙂 And, who’s he talking to ? 🙂
The cafe has a very pleasant seating area amongst an array of flowers, with more seating from where this photograph is taken, and a shop to the right. The staff are friendly and, although quite busy, a very calm and enjoyable atmosphere.
Here is the boss (of all he surveys). 🙂
Horniman Museum Gardens
12 pics – A view from the upper gardens of the Horniman Museum across London’s Canary Wharf and the Shard of Glass (the tall pointy thing). For a range of quite extraordinary flowers from the upper gardens please click here, for the museum interiors and artifacts please click here.
The dye garden.
I didn’t post process these. They really are this bright.
Alright now I’ve got a pearl of wisdom, what do I do with it ?
I you think I’m strange, wait until you see what’s inside the museum. I was thrown out for being too normal :-D.
Flowers at Temple Court
18 pics – To brighten up the winter gloom, a few flowers from the Temple Court gardens, London.
In southern England the kink in the old jet stream has been weaving about all over the place and forecasters have been having a hard time. The other day, thinking it was going to be wet, I took to wearing Wellington boots. The locals were so surprised. It was my own fault, I should have put some cloths on.
The Temple Court Flowers
A big hats off the Temple Court gardeners. There are many flower beds dotted around the place, a very nice little enclosed garden and a beautiful rose garden. They are all in pristine condition and somehow a considerable diversity thrives happily alongside one another.
There will be more from the Temple Court later, in the meantime, here are the flowers photographed in early July of 2014.
The plant (?), in the first picture, ate a corporate banker. I don’t want to say what the second did to a stockbroker. 🙂
This last one is from a small garden adjacent to the Temple Court.
I’ve been saving, what I believe to be, the best flowers until mid February and there will be more about the Temple Court and the Tower of London soon.
Queen Mary’s Gardens
14 pics. Queen Mary’s Gardens was opened in 1932 and named after the wife of George V. It can be found near the southern end of Regents Park, is shown by Google maps as the “Inner Circle” and the nearest underground station is Baker St. The gardens are in part a formal setting with up to 12,000 roses and 9,00 begonias. There is also a landscaped area of tress, bushes and a small wetland.
Photographs of some of the flowers can be found here and more information here.
Hall Place Gardens
Hall Place is a little north of Bexley (not Bexley Heath) to the east of London. The gardens are free, there is a large car park, the rail station is not far away, there is small butterfly house, entrance to the hall is £8 and it makes a great day out. The hall dates back to about 1540 and was built on the site of a manor house built about 1240. More at The Hall Place Website, Hall Place Interiors and History of Hall Place.
The Queens Beasts
More about the Queens Beasts
… and this is part of their very interesting art gallery
Hampton Court Gardens
7 Pics – . I didn’t have time to view all the gardens, but here are extracts from three of the six. Visitors are welcome to use the park benches to picnic. The Wilderness Garden (not shown) contains the famous maze, which is very difficult ~ Shhhhh. — Travel to Hampton Court by Train or River. — Admission prices can include Hampton Court Palace or just the gardens. The gardens usually close at 5 pm and the Palace at 6 pm. More garden pictures.