Thursday, 27 November 2014

GOOD FENCES - Mount Stewart Gardens In November (2)

Following on from yesterday’s post when I visited Mount Stewart Gardens and showed you the most beautiful flowers that are still blooming at the end of November, today I invite you to come with me as we walk round many parts of the very interesting garden.  The essence of Mount Stewart is the Italian garden that runs the entire length of the south-facing neoclassical house front.  Such a grand background demands a substantial garden and this one does not disappoint.  For more photograph of the gardens in different seasons (Look in Labels  RH column - under Mount Stewart)


Divided in the centre by a lawn, the two parterres are split into beds, with symmetrical fountains, and planted with herbaceous plants and shrubs. The garden was started in 1919, using local labour, particularly Thomas Beattie, the craftsman who made the stone animals and other sculptures that make this such an intriguing part of the garden. (see tomorrow for the fountains)


To the west of the house there is another formal gardens, the Sunken Garden.  An English influence shows in the sunken garden.  The orange, yellow and blue planting was designed by Gertrude Jekyll and can be seen in the summertime. In late spring, orange azaleas dominate the scene  but the raised walk and pergola that surround it is home to a vast array of interesting plants spilling down the rock wall. This gives the garden a fresh palette of plants that would otherwise not thrive in this moist garden.



Lily wood
By now the lily wood and other areas beckon.
Here, among the 80 acres you will discover beautiful lilies, shrubs, the finest and rarest of rhododendrons, massive cordylines and bamboos, exuberant ferns and delicate meconopsis. 



The view of the house from the Italian garden is framed by two remarkable bay trees in ‘pots’. Bought by Lady Londonderry in 1953, they are now 125 years old and said to be the largest potted bays 


Spanish garden

More formality awaits you south of the Italian garden as you step down into the Spanish garden. Some large pots, filled with beschornia, a large yucca-like plant with bright pink flower spikes in the summer, and the formal pool suggest a Moorish influence but its name is derived from the roof tiles on the summer house which are from Spain. All this is surrounded by an immaculate hedge of ‘Leylandii’ showing what a good plant this can be if it is kept under control. 


Quite a number of plants have been protected from frost.



Shamrock garden
The last show of formality is provided as you turn your back to the house and enter the shamrock garden. Named after its outline, this is a concentrated taste of Ireland with its harp topiary and Red Hand of Ulster bed, decked with red begonias in summer however at the moment being planted with Primula.  The top of the hedge is rather more intriguing, decorated with intricate topiary depicting a hunting party, taken from Queen Mary’s Psalter (dating from the 14th century but named after its 16th century owner).




Dodo terrace
On the southern boundary, pillars support strange goat-hoofed monkeys clutching urns above classical busts. Turn to the east and the dodo terrace entices you with its eccentric range of figures.   Someday I will do a post on the many interesting sculptures however I  leave you with just three for now.







When I entered the garden, I notice there was going to be a tour at 2 O’clock so I booked that and for the hour before it started, I quickly went round parts of the a garden hopefully head of the crowds.  At 2 o’clock I went to the Crockett lawn to meet with the group and much to my surprise, I was the only one!  I met Lisa, an interpreter Garden who works at Mount Stewart permanently, and she said as I was the only one, we could go anywhere we liked.  So for nearly the next 2 hours it was a privilege to see and learn about this wonderful garden through her eyes.


Crossing the terrace brings you to the Mairi garden, named after Viscountess Bury who spent much of her time here in a perambulator when it was just waste ground. In the centre now is a statue of her and the garden is a depiction of ‘Mairi, Mairi quite contrary’ for there are silver bells (campanulas), cockle shells and little maids (saxifrage)all in a row.


We went back into the Lilly Wood again and for me, the most special tree and the only one the garden has, was the Ginkgo Tree. (Left below)







After we went through all the formal gardens and wood again, Lila asked if I would like to see newly acquired acres of land and what their hopes and plans where for it.  I was thrilled to have this opportunity.  This area above, Neil, the Head Gardener is making into a fern area and already there have been over a 100 tree ferns have been planted.  So watch this space!!


The Dairy 



The Dairy is where Lady Londonderry made cheese, butter and yoghurt etc  The fountain in the middle was used to cool the cheese.


Close up of the raised tiles around the walls of the dairy 
which are possible Spanish in origin.


This is said to be an old fridge.


Looking out from the dairy you see what was the Rose Garden and the Orchard beyond with a very large greenhouse with vines still growing n them looked like.  These are 2 photographs I shot of what the rose gardens were like in Lady Londonderry’s day and Mount Stewart gardens hope to recreate it as it looks in her day.  How exciting!






This shot is looking over part of the orchard and I just thought this tree was a beautiful shape and still had its yellow leaves and of course a fence for this post today! 



A view to the left of the Orchard and 
in the distance you can see the greenhouses.


Lisa and I walked round the lake and these shot were especially taken for Tex’s meme, GOOD FENCES and to wish you all HAPPY THANKSGIVING especially the USA bloggers.


Tomorrow I will be showing you the very beautiful views of the still autumn colour and reflections of them over the lake.  I promise you, you will NOT be disappointed!

Thank you for visiting and also for those you kindly leave me comments.

21 comments:

  1. Margaret, what a lovely tour of the gardens.. So many pretty sights, I love the flowers, fountain and sculptures.. Pretty reflections on the lake.. Wonderful series, have a happy day!

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  2. great series of photos, amazing sights, thanks for this lovely tour, margaret.

    happy thanksgiving! xo

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  3. I can't tell what I like most, everything
    is just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing
    those wonderful pictures :)
    But I still do like the Gingko ;)

    Have a wonderful weekend
    【ツ】Knipsa

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  4. That was lovely Margaret, thank you for the great tour. I am always fascinated by the ginkgo tree. It has such a very interesting leaf.

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  5. it's really a very beautiful place (i saw those lovely ivied archways, again!) nice of you to have a personal tour, too. i like that round dairy building. they take great care to maintain all those various areas and displays.

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  6. oh my goodness! That place is just gorgeous! everything... everything! is stunning. I could spend hours walking around and taking pictures. What a fantastic tour you have given us. I can only imagine what the autumn colour and water reflection magic will be!

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  7. Oh my goodness, what a marvelous post of beautiful places and as always you work wonders with your lens, but of them all, that hand shaped garden is my favorite of all!

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  8. That lake looks lovely.

    Strange goat-hoofed monkeys, oh my!
    ~

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  9. Hi Margaret, my how lovely to have your own private tour guide. I just love the wrought iron gate and all the statues and topiary.Sounds like an awesome two hours. Thanks for sharing with us all.

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  10. How awesome it must have been to get a personal, 2-hour guided tour. This is an amazing tour you have shared with us.

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  11. A wonderful series of excellent photos of this beautiful place! Thank you so much for the tour!!

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  12. A garden for all seasons, and for all times. What an amazing privilege to have a one on one tour - thank you for sharing it with us.

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  13. Hi, Thanks for taking us on this amazing 'personal' tour with you... What remarkable gardens...You need to return in different seasons... Should be terrific all year!!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  14. What lovely walk!! Such beautiful place with lots and lots of things to learn about! And a discovery for me: we have a gingo biloba in the middle of the city, at Cismigiu Park & Gardens, as well! I love the aspects you captured and I must return for the next post with reflections!! A happy day to you, too!

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  15. I love the Ginkgo leaves, the hare, the red hand, the pier, and the green covered arches. Beauty everywhere!!!

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  16. Lovely tour of a beautiful garden!

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  17. What a beautiful garden walk. Sad that the ginko tree does not grow in the wild anymore, it is so pretty.

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  18. Oh wow! This is a gorgeous place,and to have your own personal tour guide was pretty special.

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  19. Wow so many wonderful things here to see and learn about. The gardens were stunning. Loved the ornate gate and the fancy hedges. What a grand time you had.

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  20. The garden is gorgeous. How wonderful to get a private tour.

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  21. That's happened to me before: I'm the only person on a tour and I get preferential treatment. You in turn bless us with these beautiful and interesting images. Thanks!

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