'Waiting Hounds' Andreas Heumann, Ascott house, bedding plant schemes, Euonymous Emerald and Gold, Euonymous Gaiety, Hedges, Ingo Maurer, Meadow, meadow.Fritillaria meleagris, National Trust, Waddesdon Manor
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Waddesdon Manor and Ascott House in the space of one week. I have visited Waddesdon many times yet, as it is so vast, each time your eye catches something you have not noticed before. The bedding schemes are not my cup of tea at all however I do appreciate their show stopping, look at me, bling.
After I visit anywhere I do often think ‘so what would I bring home with me, or what idea could I incorporate in my garden?’
At Waddesdon Manor, originally built as a party house for the Rothschild family, there is little to imagine anyone could copy in a normal domestic situation. Yet I did think that the edging to the bedding schemes could be used in place of Box for anyone wanting an evergreen edge. The combination I believe is Euonymous Emerald and Gold and Euonymous Emerald Gaiety.
Personally I love the way that they have trained the ivy around the stone wall of the building. So smart.
As to what would I bring home? Well it would actually be either of the following treasures in the House:
A photographic print of the dogs entitled ‘Waiting Hounds’ by Andreas Heumann
or the completely bonkers chandelier by Ingo Maurer. This was commissioned by the family and to me is reminiscent of a Mad Hatters Tea Party which has gone wrong.
Ascott House near Wing was recommended to me by several people who had said the gardens were worth a look. The gardens are open on selected days in the year and this May under the NGS yellow book scheme. I had looked on the website and was completely unprepared for the treasure that it is. Another joint National Trust / Rothschild family property. The house is a half timbered Jacobean building used previously as a hunting lodge, renovated in the 19th Century to house a collection of treasures.
The garden is vast on an elevated position with the most amazing views out towards the chalk Lion near Whipsnade. The trees include many stunning examples of Cedar, Copper Beech, and Magnolias, to name just a few.
The hedges are extraordinary, there are examples of topiary, cloud pruned yew, walls of yew, all cut to exacting standards. Hedges of variegated Holly, undulating lines of Beech creating avenues to lead to the Lily pond area.
Bedding, cloud pruned yew and topiary to defy gravity.
There are fountains,
full of lovelies
and it struck me, how interesting to see two different bedding schemes in the same week. I think it demonstrates how endless are the possibilities in a garden, thanks to the different ideas of individual garden hands and their owners.
Waddesdon seemed bright and brash but non the less impressive whilst Ascott seemed tasteful, relaxing, inviting.
For me the most wonderful area of the garden was the meadow. An area of un-mown grass, filled with Pheasants Eye narcissus, numerous varieties of Tulips and those snakes in the grass, Fritillaria meleagris.
The scene was heavenly and it is an idea which I would love to be able to recreate. Methinks it is probably easier said than done.
If you are at a loose end this weekend may I suggest you take a visit out to one of the many places open to the public and feast your eyes. Enjoy.
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