Bowood House

Bowood House

Now that the greater part of North America seems to be digging itself out of various snowstorms its time for some escapism 🙂 Last spring I traveled to England and visited the county of Wiltshire which has wonderful gardens, Roman ruins and of course the ancient sites of Stonehenge, Avebury, Silbury Hill, chalk horses carved in hillsides and many other places to keep one busy for weeks exploring this fascinating county. We had the massive luck to have an early spring with temperatures in the mid 20’s or mid 70’s for you farhenheit babies and the spring blooms were out in full force!

Entrance to Bowood

The first garden I visited was Bowood House, a georgian mansion built circa 1725 with italianate terraced gardens near the house, an arboretum and a classic examples of landscaping by Lancelot Capability Brown. It still occupied by the Landsdowne family but is open to the public to visit the gardens and grounds, part of the house, and relax at the adjoining spa and golf resort. We lost ourselves on the way there and while asking for directions at a gas station one of the wonderful locals tipped us that Bowood House was the “secret” trysting place for Charles and Camilla!

view of the house from the italianate terraces
Parterres done up with spring tulips

Elegant combinations of deep raspberry and snowy white tulips show a refined colour palette.

view of the upper terrace

All of the topiaries were slightly wonky, not sure why!

The shrubs grown against the terrace walls are a fine example of using vertical space. As the viburnum finishes, the roses will begin.

fountain
looking towards the parkland beyond the terraces

The rolling landscape designed by Capability Brown includes a sinuous lake curving over 1km that contains a submerged town, apparently sacrificed for the scenery! And no landscape is complete without a folly, grotto and cascades.

Doric temple folly by the lake

As well a parkland Brown planted an extensive arboretum whose trees have matured into glorious specimens.

Arboretum
Willow?

Not sure what this tree is but it looks fabulous!

daffodils under the trees

As great as the house was, there is a separate Bowood forest walk that I enjoyed even more. That will be the subject of my next blog 🙂

Happy Gardening or snow shovelling!

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