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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….

The Edumacation.

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…

Howick Hall

Howick Hall

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 🙂 )

To the bog garden

To the bog garden

The Bog Garden

The Bog Garden


Of course a lot of the flowering plants were done for the year, but I like shooting the aftermath..






holding on..

holding on..




empty clover









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.

laters gaters







26 comments on “The Howick Hall Gardens report ~ part 1

  1. winterbournehgblog says:

    Howick Hall looks great – still full of colour. We have plenty of colour in Birmingham as well, autumn is truly underway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay says:

    Oh my, that first photo with the building reflected in the – pond? fountain? green puddle? reservoir? – it’s just perfection. I love it.

    I also didn’t know the story behind the tea, so thanks for enlightening me and I’ll be sure to pass it along as soon as I can work it in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Earl Grey tea is an acquires taste, I was not so keen on it and much prefer Yorkshire Tea 😊


  3. Tony Single says:

    I always enjoy being edumacated by you, especially when there are pretty pictures involved! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kmSalvatore says:

    So that’s the story of tea, very kool ! I never knew that. And omg what a fantastic reflection Fraggy!!!!
    Magnificent macros , something I need to work st! Your right it does force you to see more.. And to take your time , which is so very hard for me;), but I’m gonna try this weekend.
    Looks like you had a great outing , thanks for sharing 🎃😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Embrace the macro!! It frees your mind for a while 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kmSalvatore says:

        Lol, I’ll try

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam Huggins says:

    I do LOVE those macros!!! Gorgeous shots. Postcard perfect. Your professionalism always shines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blushes & thanks Pamo, lovely to have you visit. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pam Huggins says:

        My pleasure! Always lovely to see your view of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jessica says:

    My computer (at work — hehe!) isn’t cooperating and won’t show your photos, so I will have to comment on your story instead. What a shame poor Earl Grey never registered his trademark and didn’t earn royalties for his tea! Gray or not, your adventure to Hosick Hall Gardens sounds like a lovely day. I’ll check your post again when I get home so I can see the photos!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you do, contemplating nature is very cathartic when you’re a busy person 😊


      1. Jessica says:

        Oh it absolutely is. I agree! Happy weekend, Fraggle!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Jess, you have a good one too 😊


  7. Francis.R. says:

    I’ll remember the story every time I drink an earl grey, I like teas with fruit flavours. The macro lens is in great hands, thank you for share such an exotic garden ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Francis, I much prefer Yorkshire Tea, but Earl Grey is very popular up here. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Francis.R. says:

        Cheers kind lady ☺ I haven’t seen that variety, I’ll give it a try if I see it in the market.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. melissajane14 says:

    My heart is breaking over your flower photos…I think I’ll go revisit the spiders’ webs 🙂


  9. Excellent series, Fraggy. Warm and vivid autumn colors perfectly captured. I am a “tea” drinker. Breakfast tea, Yorkshire tea … all fantastic. I hate Earl Grey. Not my cup of tea. 🙂 I have to catch up with my comments. So I move on to part 2 on the weekend. Have a save trip and enjoy the Netherlands. Greetings. Reinhold

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Reinhold 😀


  10. Interesting story about the tea!

    Liked by 1 person

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