Monday, October 4, 2010

Stourhead Landscape Garden

I have to preface this post by stating that I was intent upon not enjoying Stourhead, and put it on our itinerary simply because so many bloggers, websites, etc., had said it was a "must see" garden.  I am now officially eating my words, and have joined the ranks of those who say Stourhead is a place you definitely need to visit at least once.

For starters, the property is ridiculously big (2650 acres), and is uniquely sited in its own sheltered valley.  It is, for good reason, considered one of the finest examples of 18th century landscape gardening still in existence.  The category of "landscape garden" is one of the reasons I had decided I wouldn't like it.  I'm clearly into flowers, borders, and the like, and am clear that I will never own 2650 acres on which to garden.  Stourhead has no flower borders and no cutting garden.  What is has, though, are simply breath-taking views in every direction! 

As an example, this Temple is treated as a garden ornament at Stourhead.  It's the size of my house!  It comes in and out of view at several vantage points throughout the property.
This lake was created as another "decoration" in the mid 1700's.

Another shot of the Temple, below. 
 Another view one encounters while strolling the grounds, below.
Frank (the non-gardener) also adored Stourhead, and was delighting to find a focused ray of warm sunshine on this chilly morning.  (He was a saint on this trip, not complaining once!)


  1. My god what a beautiful place.

  2. I'm so glad you saw Stourhead, it is such a different type of garden. A garden more concerned with the view then a tiny little flower. I can't imagine what it takes to maintain that many acres.

  3. simply beautiful. Some day, I wish to take a trip with you(as long as you plan the itinerary).

  4. I completely adored Stourhead, though I'm not sure I would want to be that removed from my neighbors! There are lots of things to be said for having a fairly small lot in the 'burbs that allows me to chat with neighbors who are out walking while I'm working in the garden! Jim, I'm happy to plan the itinerary, but I'm not good at staying "charming" for more than a few days at a's the risk one takes when traveling with me!

  5. What a spectacular garden... your photography is excellent and you've shared a truly entertaining post! L

  6. This is absolutely stunning, but it makes me sad. I was supposed to live like that - I just know it.....there was a mistake 55 years ago!