Friday, 14 October 2016

Day out to Hampton Court Castle and gardens

Jenny organised the last of this year's Kenilworth Horticultural Society outings to Hampton Court Castle.  We had a local coach company pick us on Sunday morning, and the trip through the countryside on one of the finest of Autumn mornings was a joy in itself.

The Castle of which little of the original remains is still picturesque, having been remodeled over the centuries, and is beautifully positioned in lush countryside.

There are some wonderful tree specimens surrounding the house, and the gardens, although now almost at the end of their display of plants, have been well laid out, with interesting walk ways, reflective pools, a wonderful maze, with tower in the middle, secret gardens, topiary etc.  As with many gardens, from the planting, it is definitely summer when the garden would be at its best.

scattered around are some interesting sculptures by the artist George Webb

This pergolas was displaying the hips of the rose Francis Lester which were bright and beautiful against the deep blue sky...and how about this for a novel plant label, which had been well hammered into the ground?  There is no fear here of the label disappearing or getting moved to another plant.

A few other plants were performing well late into the autumn:

and even where the vegetables had been grown, the green maure Phacelia of which I am found was a late source of nectar and pollen for the bees:

Mr S and I had lunch in the orangery, and then joined our group for a tour of the castle.  It is rented out for parties and weddings, and it has some lovely large rooms.

Inside none of the furnishing are original but a previous American Owner did his best to bring the dramatic element to the property:

Towards the end of the day, I went in search of the zip wire, and since there was no one else around, had a lovely exhilarating ride!

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