A short ride southwest of London on the train dropped me off close to Hampton Court Palace,where I walked into a place steeped in history since 1484.
Marveling at all the architectural details and courtyards on the way, one couldn't help but imagine roaming the grounds during the height of its heyday. The palace itself was elevated to the beauty that it became in the "recent" year of 1514.
Passing through the palace I am finally greeted by the real reason I came here, the gardens, which spread out before me, created over 60 acres. The Great Fountain Garden provided a wonderful view lined with clipped Taxus baccata out towards the home park, which is comprised of just another measly 750 acres.
Taxus baccata, which could have been very imposing and dominating on the landscape, have been clipped into some very friendly shapes, softening the horizon lines with their gumdrop shapes. The bedding was a mix of annuals, and tubers, that helped add some burst of color amidst a vast open green sea of turf.
The Privy Garden, situated on the side of the palace, was created on a design from 1702. It's symmetrical pattern includes herbaceous plants, clipped shrubs, gravel and sculptures.
It is a space to wander through and view from above to fully appreciate the patterns in the layout of the garden design. Water, acting as reflecting pools, gives the eyes a chance to rest while we take in the all of the shapes that encompass this garden.
She poses among shapes and backdrops, while color dances in front of her.
On one side of the Privy Garden is a Beech Tunnel, a living corridor that plays with dark and light.
Seen from a distance, with the aloe mimicking the sheared shrubs, you can appreciate the patterns played out in the Privy garden.
Just for the love of chimneys (38?!)... a view towards the Orangery.
The Pond Gardens are awash in color, due to successful intricate planting schemes
An Orangery never fails to impress, since we don't normally see these types of building created anymore. These architectural gems were commonly used to house tender collections of plants and trees in the colder parts of the year, while in the warmer months these were put outside to benefit from the heat and rays of the sun.
The long border, which ran across the the width of the grounds, was a feat in itself due to it's length, depth, and plant palette.
It was clearly able to hold its own, creating a flowering tapestry that anchored the impressive size of the palace to its vast grounds.
She was a place of beauty.