Nov 18, 2012

Train to the past, Hampton Court Palace

 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.
It seemed to me that there was a fair amount of space between the plants, and  wishing to see it planted more lushly, I found out that this is how it was planted when the garden was created. It is important to remain true to details in  a historic garden, as this is how it was done during those days.
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.


  1. great photos. I used to go to Hampton Court gardens quite often before they introduced an entrance fee to visit..

    1. Thank you Sy. I did not realize that the gardens were ever free? If it was free I would probably go more often!

  2. Stunning! Absolutely stunning photos! It makes me think after this holiday I’m going to visit this place to be mesmerized personally with these amazing landscapes…

    1. Thank you Olivia, I'm very happy you enjoy the photos..