Last Sunday as a birthday treat, I went with my sister & husband to see the gardens of Petersham House, where the owners of Petersham Nurseries. It is a stunning Georgian house and exquisite gardens next to the nurseries and they open the gardens to the public twic a year. After a walk around the gardens we had lunch in the formal restaurant in the nurseries. We entered the gardens from the nurseries where you walk through the kitchen garden for the restaurant which also includes flowers they grow for decorating the restaurant, shop and glass houses.
The house has that wonderful Georgian symmetry which is enhanced by the addition of a pavilion on the left and a conservatory on the right. Of course we had to press our faces to the windows of both these buildings and peer inside!
The house is next to the church whose spire can be seen from every part of the walled garden. The large expanse of lawn in front of the house has beautiful iron gates that lead into another section of the garden. The lawn is dotted with topiary and a statue which is called the silent statue. The flower beds around the lawn were full of pops of late summer colour.
Beautiful old apple tree
The bark of the old apple tree
There are some interesting benches in the garden where you can sit and contemplate the beauty around you.
Passing through the tall iron gates you walk down a long path with flower borders which are still full of colour despite being late September. Lots of textures and shapes make these borders interesting.
The long swimming pool looked so inviting especially as the water was lovely and warm!
Even the sheds were beautiful !
I'm not sure what this dormobile is used for but it looked rather incongruous in the garden
The huge fig trees along the wall were still covered in fruit and I'm sure the baked figs I had for dessert in the restaurant today came from that tree. Lots of lovely dappled light in the shadier areas.
After an hour wandering this beautiful garden we walked through the nurseries to the restaurant where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch - fabulous food and wine !!
Followed by a walk in Petersham Woods and along the river
A wonderful day and birthday treat! I highly recommend you go and see the gardens of Petersham House next time they are open to the public (they open them twice a year). Have any of you already been to see the gardens? Would love to hear what you thought of them.
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Sorry for my radio silence since my last post on 31 October - in the run up to Christmas I was manically busy with client work and in January I headed to Sydney for five weeks.
I thought I'd kick off with one of the highlights of my Sydney sojourn - the coastal walk from South Coogee (where I was staying) to Bondi, a distance of about 10k with some of the most spectacular scenery. I did this walk last year with a friend but this time it was just me, my iPhone and my DSLR. The weather was cloudy, windy and about 26C so perfect for a long walk.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group, to do a lampshade painting workshop with Cressida Bell who is the talented artist granddaughter of the artist Vanessa Bell and daughter of Quentin Bell. I wonder if you are as passionate about the Bloomsbury Group as I am? I devour books about them and have often visited Charleston, Berwick, Firle and Monk's House.
Petersham Nurseries is one of those places that is good for the soul. It is all about beauty and style, both outside and inside. I'm there at least three times a month and have rarely left there empty handed!
It's a half hour drive from my home which takes me across Richmond Park, another place that is good for the soul. It's hard to believe that you are in a big city when you are in the middle of the park surrounded by trees, bracken and deer.
It’s been a few weeks since my last blog post mainly due to been manically busy with client work but I also had a two week break in Italy over Easter. As many of you know, I was married to an Italian and lived in Italy for ten years so it’s my spiritual home and I try and go back at least once a year. I stay with friends who live in the Piemonte region and we usually jump into their camper van and head off somewhere for a few days.
Last week I took a friend to the Chelsea Physic Garden for lunch and a wander. I'm a member of the garden and I love to pop in there to sit and read, have lunch or tea & cake, or a wander. I find it a real little oasis in the middle of Chelsea and a source of inspiration.
We parked in Battersea Park and walked over the prettiest of the bridges over the Thames, the Albert Bridge. I whizz over the bridge on my moped but can't stop to admire it or the view so it was a treat to be able to walk over it and take some photos.
esterday I spent an absolutely amazing day out in Sussex with a friend on a "pilgrimage". Having been to see Charleston House and Berwick Church three weeks ago and becoming obsessed with the Bloomsbury Group, I wanted to return to see Monk's House, the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf and also to visit the church in the village of Firle where Vanessa Bell, her live-in lover Duncan Grant and Vanessa's son Quentin Bell (from her marriage to Clive Bell) are buried.
It was a perfect English summer's day - cloudless sky, a lovely cool breeze and temperatures around 25C. Be warned now, I'm afraid this blog post is serious photographic spam!!
For those of you who don't know Charleston House, it is the home of the Bloomsbury Group and became a country outpost for a group of artists, writers and intellectuals. It started in 1916 when the painter Vanessa Bell, her husband Clive and their two sons Julian and Quentin moved there from London on the recommendation of her sister, the writer Virginia Woolf. With them were another painter Duncan Grant and his friend David Garnett. They rented the late 16th century farmhouse and despite the house having no hot water or heating, guests increased the household. It became a rather unconventional household of friendships and relationships - they didn't separate or divorce, they just reorganised!!!