Our Indian Summer ended on Friday evening, and Sophie and I had planned on going to Howick Hall Gardens no Saturday. It was foggy and dull grey when we set off, and it remained grey and dull the whole day in spite of telling each other it might brighten up in a bit. The good news is that it was fine weather to employ the 60mm fuji macro lens, soft light combined with no wind. So first…ta.dah….
Earl Grey is a famous guy if you drink the tea he invented, and Howick Hall was his ancestral gaff. The tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, to suit the water from the well at Howick, using bergamot in particular to offset the taste of the lime in it. Lady Grey used it in London when entertaining as a political hostess, and it proved so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others, which is how Twinings came to market it and it is now sold worldwide. Sadly the Greys, being unbusinesslike, failed to register the trade mark and as a result they have never received a penny in royalties. Charles was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834, during which time the Great Reform Bill of 1832 was passed starting the process of parliamentary reform which eventually led to our modern democracy. I bet David Cameron wouldn’t have failed to register the trademark!!
I’ll spare you the house history as it isn’t open to the public. The gardens at Howick are primarily the work of Charles, 5th Earl Grey, his wife Mabel, and their daughter Lady Mary Howick between 1920 and 2001. They established and maintained an informal and natural style of gardening first advocated by William Robinson in the late 19th Century, which completely replaced the more formal Victorian planting of their ancestors. All that is left of the old garden are some of the mature trees; all else was swept away.
and onto the pretty pictures…
First we visited the Bog Garden, which is a load of plants around a pond in a boggy area, a lot of the plants are exotic from India, North America, New Zealand, Japan, China and Europe (just about the whole world then 🙂 )
Of course a lot of the flowering plants were done for the year, but I like shooting the aftermath..
That will do for part 1, I do like taking macro’s of plants, it forces you to see stuff you wouldn’t normally notice, and the complicated structure and patterns involved in them are mind boggling really.