We returned from D.C. Sunday afternoon, and I just finished the last load of laundry (as well as all the other accumulated tasks). Now I am ready to return to England and finish the record of that trip - I hope by the end of this week.
Stourhead is out of order as we visited that garden the same day as we went to Bath, May 29th. Stourhead Garden is part of the National Trust and is an example of early (1730-40's ) Landscape Style that was refined and made very popular by Capability Brown (his name wasn't really "Capability", it was "Lancelot") in the 18th century. In other words, this style of garden focused more on the vast sweep of beautiful landscape with trees and water, shrubs and lovely buildings in which one could sit and view it all. I will warn you now that some of these photos of mine will remind you of either a calendar or the work of Thomas Kincaid (and I'd prefer the former!). Take time to check out the reflections in the photographs - to say nothing of the colors, and you'll see what I mean.
Stourhead Garden has a wonderful collection of rhododendron which flourish in England's climate. Many are tree-tall.
This is a Monkey Puzzle Tree in the middle of this picture. It looks like a tree having a "bad hair" day. It's a native of Chile, grows very tall, and bears its branches at the top.
You can see the Temple of Flora in both the above and the below photos. Oh, and the another one down a bit farther. Guess I liked the temple.
Another thing Landscape Style gardens may have is a grotto. Here is a view of the bridge from the grotto in this garden.
Those rhododendrons are quite spectacular, don't you think?
This is another little building (a thatched cottage in this case) covered with beautiful honeysuckle. Both the windows and the stone bench in front of them have a wonderful view of the lake.
While our horticultural expert talked about the "plant hunters" and where they went to find the specimens they brought back to the wealthy for their gardens, she also pointed out that some plants they brought back really weren't best suited for their new homes. In this case you can see some tall evergreens, probably metasequoia from the U.S., that are towering above the trees native to England. They don't fit as they are too tall (more apparent in the reflection).
More pictures of Stourhead Gardens tomorrow.