Sunday, 6 May 2012

Highnam Court

Formal beds on the terraces close to Highnam Court.
Thanks to the National Gardens Scheme we were able to visit Highnam Court this afternoon. The house itself, which dates to 1658, is not open, but there are 40 acres of gardens and grounds surrounding it to explore. Once the home of the Parry family - Hubert is said to have composed 'Jerusalem' there - but falling into considerable disrepair during the mid-20th Century, Highnam Court has been owned since 1994 by Roger Head, who has completely revitalised the grounds by restoring old features and adding new ones. The result is very showy - there's not much subtlety to the garden - but it's good to see new garden creation on this scale. In addition to the NGS opening through the season, Highnam Court also hosts numerous charitable events through the year.

The vast new Rose Garden below the house, with beds underplanted with spring bulbs.

A series of iridescent obelisks along one walk, producing some very surreal colouring effects.

The gate at the end of this rose tunnel is mirrored between the bars, cleverly extending the vista.

One of the older features is the water garden, constructed in the 19th C. Much of the original 'rockwork' was of Pulhamite, an artificial compound stone skilfully moulded to look like the real thing. The Pulhamite is wearing thin in places, revealing the blocks of bricks around which it was built up and giving an interesting insight into how these features were created.

A splendid combination of two thugs: Matteuccia struthiopteris and Lysimachia ciliata Firecracker', in the old water garden.

Rheum palmatum in the water garden.

Wooden sculptures are rather abundant in the gardens: here a coy nymph appears to be shocked by the presence of Mr Toad...

2 comments:

  1. No, not Mr Toad. Not sure about the obelisks either. (Which means, not in this garden!) Loved the mirrored gate, would love one here.

    But it is good the place is being loved again. Thanks for showing us it, we shall go.

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  2. Oh wonderful, nice to see you’ve opened the grounds, would love to see again. Regards Gordon and fond memories at RHM and the Chinese evenings!

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