Friday, April 10, 2015

Later That Afternoon - Hampton Court Gardens & Castle - Actually - Hampton Court Palace

Many thanks to a reader for helping me with my geography!  I'd confused Hampton Court Gardens and Castle with Hampton Court Palace - the only thing I can think of as a punishment is to be sent back for another trip to England.  While I wait for my travel money jar to refill - I've made the corrections below:

My own garden continues to be sadder than sad, so I'm pleased to bring you more of my trip to England last year and some of the most spectacular gardens I've ever seen.  A couple of years before I had been to the Hampton Court Palace Garden Show - a quick way of describing it would be that it's the Summer 'Chelsea' show with the distinct advantage of being on the spectacular grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

We arrived later in the day, and practically had the place to ourselves.  Have a look below, isn't that old tree wonderful.  Here in North America, I can hear the home owners saying, "Gotta Go!".

It is beyond my realm of comprehension just how rich you would have to be to build and maintain this magnificent treasure for all these years.  You really have to shake your head, the Queen really has a lot of good stuff, and fortunately (for a price) she let's us all come have a look-see.

Both Aunt Carolyn and I had seen the castle before, so she agreed that we should "do the gardens", with the exception of the oldest grape vine - which the two of us both agreed was the dullest display we'd ever seen.  However, if you like grapes, and want to see how the most pampered grapevine in the world lives, be our guest.  (Spoiler alert:  it lives in an enormous glasshouse and the field next to the glasshouse is covered in compost for the roots.)

So, first off to the series of Edward Scissorhands gardens.

Here's my Aunt Carolyn giving scale to one of the many clipped cones in this spectacular formal garden:

Even the clouds seem to organize themselves in an attractive fashion:

Repetition + Unlimited Budget + Lots of Water + Sharp Clippers = Very Cool Vista

You should always consider how your house looks from the street:

And, now onto the garden.  Unfortunately there weren't any gardeners around, and I had so many questions.

Sisyrinchium striatum above.  Good soft yellow almost Verbascum like flowers.  Had the gardener been there, I would have asked about how the colours of the border changed throughout the year, and what their favourite time was.

Obviously some damage that they're letting grow back in:

The biggest Allium I've ever seen with some Geum.  Not a combination that would work here I'm thinking.  Allium much earlier than the Geum.  Oh, and I've never met a Geum that would live for more than a month or two, so cool combo, but sadly not for me.

Not a single mark on these rose leaves:

The poppies were bigger than my hand:

Wouldn't you just kill for a nice old wall for your garden:

Again, something that wouldn't happen here I don't think.  Digitalis would be long gone before the Kniphofia started to perform.  More apt to see the Macleaya cordata and the Kniphofia together.  Is this what really happens, or were the Kniphofia forced?

My biggest question, was, "How big is this border?"  When I thought I was about halfway, I took a picture one way:

and then spun around to take the 180 view:

With everything else that needs to be handled in a garden this size - thought this was a really good idea - when the tulips are fading these wallflowers take over.  I even like how the tulips make a great texture in the purple.  And when the wallflowers are done - it all can come out and be replanted.

and then we were off the bus once again.  You can see Aunt Carolyn as a little tiny dot on the bench.

This is what you'll see when the flower show is on.  Without a doubt, flower show or not, the Hampton Court Palace must be on your list if you're planning a trip to England.


Paul Jung said...

Now that is an English border! I need to show this to my clients insisting on creating a herbaceous border in their full shade downtown Toronto plots, lol..

Wonderful pics and comments as usual.

Funny you didn't see any staff!

Gail said...

I can't imagine living in a 6000 sq foot McMansion let alone a castle! But, I do love their gardens! Thanks for sharing it!

Linda said...

Beautiful photos! Warm greetings from Montreal! :)

Barbarapc said...

Paul, I'm thinking hosta, heuchera, rodgersia, ligularia and no doubt they're thinking roses, delfs, lupins and tall sun-loving grasses - I'd suggest you tell them they need to buy a new property in full sun and you'll design that one for them too. We were really there very late. They closed the doors behind us as we left, I'm thinking they'd gone home for the day. I cannot imagine how many of them there must be, and so much of the garden was so labour-intensive. It would be a great place to study and learn.
Oh, Gail. I'm with you, I'd be at a complete loss in the giant homes, but the gardens are a complete dream.
Linda, thank you. Hope this weekend will be the end of all your snow - still some patches here and there. What a winter it has been!

Anonymous said...

Christine said: Hi there! Your blog is confusing! Hampton Court Castle is indeed in Herefordshire. However, Hampton Court Palace - the one you show in your blog and which has the beautiful gardens and the summer Chelsea - is in Surrey. I think I've got the county right: in any event it's near Kingston-upon-Thames. It's one of my favourite palaces and gardens alongside Cambridge Botanic Gardens close to where I now live.

Barbarapc said...

Hi Christine, thanks so much for the gentle correction. You live in a glorious spot. I visited the Cambridge Botanic Gardens on the first day of my first trip to England - and had the fun of punting on the River Cam. Can just imagine how beautiful it is there right now. We're expecting a bit of snow flurries later this week. Thank goodness for warmer thoughts of lovely trips. B.